As part of the deal with Phan, Endemol Beyond will build out Phan’s FAWN (For All Women Network), a lifestyle-oriented multichannel network with shows about fashion, beauty, health, wellness and culture. FAWN will become Endemol Beyond’s lifestyle MCN, said Will Keenan, president of Endemol Beyond USA. “It’s a very big overall deal, multiplatform and global” and Endemol’s biggest ever to date with a YouTube creator, he said.
Endemol Beyond hosted both Phan at its first Digital Content NewFronts event Friday, held at the Gilded Lily nitery in New York City. Also in attendance was former “Sopranos” star Drea de Matteo, who also recently signed a deal for a digital series with Endemol.
The 27-year-old Phan, who posted her first video to then-fledgling YouTube in July 2006, currently has 6.29 million subscribers with 908 million views to date to her channel at youtube.com/MichellePhan. She started her beauty and fashion video-blog on YouTube in 2007 while she was waitressing at a Florida sushi restaurant.
Phan — who tells viewers to “think of me as your beauty bestie” in her intro video on YouTube — also maintains a blog at michellephan.com and is active on social media with 2.4 million Facebook fans and 542,000 Twitter followers.
With Endemol, Phan will spearhead the development of original content for both the digital and broadcast spaces, as well as mentor new talent, incubating the next generation of multiplatform trailblazers.
“As one of the first creators on YouTube, I’ve been fortunate to sit in the front row, witnessing the remarkable evolution of digital media,” Phan said. “The experiences and knowledge I’ve been afforded are invaluable and I’m excited to take that skill set, together with Endemol Beyond, to build a reliable, reputable business.”
Charlie Corwin and Cris Abrego, co-chairman and co-CEOs of Endemol North America, commented: “Combining Michelle’s global presence with our capabilities as the world’s largest independent producer of multiplatform entertainment, we are able to offer the support, global infrastructure and reach for digital that only a company like Endemol can provide.” The deal between Endemol Beyond USA and Michelle Phan/FAWN was brokered by Phan’s manager and FAWN business partner, Ronit Cohn, and Phil E. Daniels of Ginsburg Daniels, LLP.
Other creators Endemol Beyond USA has recently include Vine video creator Brittany Furlan and MattyB, an 11-year-old YouTube pop-rapper from Atlanta. And in January, Endemol North America announced an exclusive deal with rap superstar Pitbull to develop and produce original content for both TV and digital outlets.
Endemol, whose TV properties include “Big Brother” and “Wipeout,” created Endemol Beyond last fall. The unit’s mission is to create a premium network of connected international and local channels across platforms including YouTube, Yahoo, AOL, MSN and Dailymotion.
In other Endemol signing news, musician-filmmaker-photographer Julian Lennon — son of John Lennon — said he will develop several digital series with Endemol about “my digital life.” The yet-untitled projects will cover his recent documentary, “Through the Picture Window,” which is about “Everything Changes,” his fifth studio album that released last year, as well as his photography exhibitions.