Brian Robbins-created AwesomenessTV and Chernin Group’s “@SummerBreak” were among shows cited as new storytelling models at the 4th Abu Dhabi Media Summit where the theme this year is Leveraging the Digital Age.
Eric Kuhn, United Talent Agency’s Head of Social Media (pictured) recounted how Robbins “came to us with an idea to create the next generation content company, and with him we helped him create AwesomenessTV,” which sold recently to Dreamworks in a deal worth upwards of $120 million, according to Kuhn.
“It’s just one example of the content that’s changing and also something that doesn’t necessarily live on traditional platforms: it lives on YouTube and then expands from there,” Kuhn told an audience of Middle East media entrepreneurs.
The panel was billed as being about generations Y and Z, but Kuhn said he preferred calling them “the C Generation” because “they love to connect, they love to curate, and they love to create.”
Chris Vollmer, Partner and Global Leader Media & Entertainment, Booz & Company cited Chernin Group’s “@SummerBreak,” the reality program centered on several Westside teens who just graduated from high school that played out on social media rather than TV over the summer and is being hailed as a grand experiment.
“It’s a more agile type of storytelling; more focussed on participation. It’s less longform, less linear,” Vollmer enthused.
Vollmer went on to say that “some of the public stats that they share are pretty impressive: 650 million views on social media” and a 25% increase each week for the 13 weeks that “@SummerBreak” ran.
Providing some counterpoint, Viacom International Managing Director South Europe, Middle East & Africa topper Raffaele Annechino underscored how TV continues to be central for Viacom which has taken what he called a “multi-pronged approach: linear media and social interaction.”
After mentioning Viacom’s recent agreement with Twitter as part of that approach, Annechino cited Viacom International launch of the world’s first personalized channel, France’s “Mon Nickelodeon Junior,” which analyzes viewer preferences and dynamically adapts its scheduling to fit each viewer’s tastes, as another type of novelty that could also become a new model.