Endemol's U.S. Digital Unit Signs YouTube

Endemol Beyond USA, the digital network affiliated with Endemol North America, has signed a premium content deal with MattyB, an 11-year-old YouTube pop-rapper from Atlanta.

Under the pact, Endemol Beyond USA will develop, co-produce and distribute an original premium content series about MattyB (whose real name is Matthew Morris) and his family on his MattyBVlogs channel on YouTube. In addition, Endemol Beyond USA will launch a new digital vertical around the star and will produce and expand original content for distribution on other platforms.

Deal may raise eyebrows in the biz — Endemol said it will invest $40 million worldwide to develop digital content, and one of its earliest deals is with a midlevel YouTuber on the periphery of pop-culture awareness? But Endemol Beyond USA is counting on MattyB’s relatively large social following to gain traction in the space.

Endemol Beyond, which launched at the end of 2013, now claims more than 250 million video views per month. 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. It has also signed an overall deal with Courtney Love for digital content production and distribution.

MattyB launched on YouTube four years ago — when he was 7 — and the G-rated tween rapper now has 2.4 million subscribers across YouTube channels, with more than 883 million video views to date. He also has 4.2 million fans on Facebook and 525,000 Twitter followers.

“MattyB is entertaining, genuine and has a raw talent and passion for performing,” said Will Keenan, president of Endemol Beyond USA, who joined the company last November from Maker Studios. “With the resources of Endemol Beyond to support him, we believe an incredible talent like MattyB has nowhere to go but up.”

Endemol, the TV production company whose 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.

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