Last week, popular YouTuber Casey Neistat announced that he’s shutting down his daily vlog to pursue other ventures. Now his fans know why: CNN has acquired the team behind Beme, an app that Neistat launched last year that lets users post unedited short video clips.
According to the New York Times, CNN plans to shut down Beme but has “agreed to acquire the technology and talent” behind the app. The move is part of CNN’s plan to engage with younger audiences who are resistant to and skeptical of more traditional media outlets.
Founded by Neistat and former Tumblr exec Matt Hackett, Beme doesn’t let users see their videos while they're being filmed or edit their videos before they’re posted. The idea behind the app is that it lets people create authentic content and serves as an antidote to picture-perfect Instagram feeds or heavily filtered Snapchats.
Neistat’s YouTube channel has nearly six million subscribers and his videos regularly rack up millions of views, but Beme hasn’t fared as well since launching. According to the New York Times, “many of the ideas that came out of Beme will be applied to a new, separate start-up company that will exist as an extension of CNN,” with Neistat and his team given free rein over it.
“Casey has tapped into nearly six million really powerful viewers, most of which do not tune in to CNN,” Andrew Morse, global head of CNN Digital, told the New York Times. “To build this audience authentically, we believe we need to build something new.”