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CNN Shutters Casey Neistat's Video Company Beme, Which It Bought 14 Months Ago For $25 Million (theverge.com) 62

In late November 2016, CNN purchased YouTube star Casey Neistat's video-sharing app Beme for $25 million. The news network purchased the app in a bid to harness Neistat's (at the time) 6 million subscribers, with the hopes of turning the company into an independently operated daily online news show and a core part of CNN's offerings that would appeal to a younger demographic. Today, CNN has shut down Beme because Neistat was unable to figure out a viable strategy due to creative differences and sluggish process. He will be departing from CNN. The Verge reports: "I couldn't find answers. I would sort of disappear, and I would hide, and I would make YouTube videos for my channel because at least I would be able to yield something," Neistat told Buzzfeed News. "I don't think I'm giving CNN what I want to give them, and I don't think they're getting value from me." When CNN bought Beme, it said Neistat's company would focus on "timely and topical video and empowering content creators to use technology to find their voice." Beme currently employs 22 people, and CNN said it would re-employ most of the team, though some would lose their jobs. CNN plans to continue developing tech products developed by Beme, including an unreleased live-news app called Wire.
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CNN Shutters Casey Neistat's Video Company Beme, Which It Bought 14 Months Ago For $25 Million

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  • by Train0987 ( 1059246 ) on Thursday January 25, 2018 @06:57PM (#56003769)

    That fool is laughing all the way to the bank. I can't stand the guy but kudos for rolling CNN.

    • by Calydor ( 739835 )

      Not necessarily.

      I have no clue who this guy is, never heard of him, but if he actually WANTED to make this work and simply couldn't it probably feels like a pretty bad defeat despite the money.

  • by The Cynical Critic ( 1294574 ) on Thursday January 25, 2018 @07:03PM (#56003821)
    I honestly can't say I'm surprised this is how it ended. In terms of content and audience CNN and Casey are so far apart I have a hard time understanding how anyone could think a synergy could be found. It probably was just some out of touch executive desperate to jumpstart an attempt at regaining the sub 30 market that broadcast news media has more or less completely lost.

    Then again when you are CNN and part of a big corporation like Turner Broadcasting it's not exactly the end of the world if you end up throwing 25 million USD down the drain.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Plus they probably lost a bunch of viewers when CNN inserted their bias.

      • by KiloByte ( 825081 ) on Thursday January 25, 2018 @08:03PM (#56004217)

        Until recently, I used CNN for world news -- they were biased but reliable. Then, somewhen during the US election campaign, they went completely bonkers. I don't know how to call them without being unfair to ordinary lying sacks of shit.

        This started with them not giving a single mention to Hillary's wrongdoings that were all over other news sites. Since then, they can't post a single article without propaganda stuffed with obvious lies -- especially if there's a word like "gun" or "nuclear" anywhere within six clicks of the piece. Fake News at its finest, indeed.

        While it's usually good to hear both sides, CNN has gone to Daily Stormer's level; going there is a waste of time.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          I don't think CNN is alone. Somewhere along the way everyone decided that polarized echo chambers are the way to more money. Everyone loses but the news organizations.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by gnick ( 1211984 )

          Since then, they can't post a single article without propaganda stuffed with obvious lies...

          They have a shit ton [cnn.com] of articles up right now. Would you mind linking to one and pointing out these obvious lies that can't be missed?

          • Look at how many hits there are. Wow. [google.com]

            > "They stopped being journalists and began being *cheerleaders*, and became people who had a conclusion that they reached, and then searched for facts to show that Hillary Clinton was an 92, 93, 99 point 9999 chance winner, of winning this campaign."

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2lWZ7CsXu0 [youtube.com]

          • by pnutjam ( 523990 )
            Thanks, you'll be waiting a long time for someone to make a concrete example that doesn't cherry pick from years of content.
            Sure it's possible there are afew biased stories out there, but most of their content is solid reporting.
            • by gnick ( 1211984 )

              I have no problem with somebody calling CNN biased. They're not FoxNews level biased, but of course there's a slant. But when somebody calls them liars, I'd like to see evidence. There just isn't any. Every time I ask I get no reasonable response, but some mixed reactions from the mod lords. For some people, the phrase "CNN is not FAKE NEWS" is really offensive even though they have no support for their position. Just because our president screams something over and over does not make it true. Our president

              • by pnutjam ( 523990 )
                Everything has a slant, but not everything is a lie.
                It's a basic reality that's hard for some people to accept.
        • CNN is garbage and has been for years, along with every other US news channel. CNN international was good as of a year or two ago, because it competes with real news organizations like the BBC. I don't know if it still is good, and I don't know why the US can't have decent domestic news. It's almost as if intelligent, hard-nosed reporters are blacklisted from TV.

        • by labnet ( 457441 )

          Clinton News Network

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by denzacar ( 181829 )

      an attempt at regaining the sub 30 market that broadcast news media has more or less completely lost.

      Two words: Rachel Maddow.
      http://www.adweek.com/tvnewser... [adweek.com]

      One of the most significant cable news ratings stories for Q2 '17 was the performance of The Rachel Maddow Show.
      Maddow finished this past quarter as the No. 1 show across all of cable news in the all-important A25-54 demographic.

      And it's not just the under-30 market. MSNBC took even younger audiences.

      MSNBC also set network records in the adults 18-49 demo during weekday prime (M-F 8-11 p.m.), finishing at No. 1 for the first time ever for a full quarter.
      While the achievement should be seen as a positive, the A18-49 demo is almost never cited by cable news advertisers.
      The A25-54 demo is the standard in this genre.
      A18-49 is the key demo for advertisers looking at broadcast and cable entertainment networks.

      Generations raised on Jon Stewart's Daily Show want charming, intelligent hosts, hosting factual, informative and insightful shows.
      They DO NOT WANT to feel like they are being click-baited to sit in front of the TV until that one particular bit of news they are interested in, and are continuously being promised is "coming up next", shows up in the "24-hour news cycle".
      They want

  • Casey Who ? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by psergiu ( 67614 ) on Thursday January 25, 2018 @07:06PM (#56003851)

    Is that the inventor of Netstat ?
    We tend to use "ss" now ... maybe that's why it failed.

  • without even an embrace or extend.
  • by JoeyRox ( 2711699 ) on Thursday January 25, 2018 @07:14PM (#56003903)
    CNN saw Casey's 8.7 million youtube subscribers and thought buying him out was a sure way transfer a chunk of those eyeballs to CNN, provided he was the front-man for whatever media content they came up with. CNN was so sure of this strategy that they feared someone else would execute it first, which prompted them to not only buy Casey but also his entire Beme company, to bail it out of the hole it dug itself and its investors into from that failing first-person video app of theirs.

    Proof again that making hasty decisions based on FOMO rather than common sense are usually wrong and very expensive mistakes.
  • >> (Large Media Company Buys Web Site For Too Much Money, Previous Owner Laughs To Bank, Then Site Shuts Down)

    What, you thought it was going to end with the MySpace buyout? Or Tumblr?
    • CNN was already mixed up with the king of these mistakes though. You'd think after getting financially sodomized buying AOL they would have learned.

  • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Thursday January 25, 2018 @07:51PM (#56004149)
    to shut them down. Microsoft used to do it all the time. $25 million is a small price to pay to shut down upstart new media. Meanwhile Bernie Sanders had to go on youtube [google.com] to get coverage for his Medicare For All townhall.
  • Is he part of the under-twenty....seven(?) age group? In my thirties I am feeling old, I have never heard of this guy. Whose eyeballs were CNN trying to buy? Americans age 17-28? English speaking europeans 25-40?
     
    6 million viewers is a lot but at the same time is a tiny tiny fraction of total users and there's a better chance you've never heard of the guy...

  • Well, apart from those millions of dollars and a few jobs at... what was that again? Beme?
    Have they tried changing the name to Blockchaineme? Maybe that would help.

  • Mark Cuban is a billionare because of a project Yahoo bought and shuttered.

    How is AOL doing?

  • I read "CNN Shutters ..." and was instantly ecstatic! Then I read the remainder of the headline. Maybe next time.
  • It's just like when Wayne Campbell sold out to television producer Benjamin Oliver. His show was never the same after that. Noah's Arcade sucks anyway.

  • Nice work if you can get it.

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