Viacom’s Paramount Network Inks Deal for Show-Related ‘60 Second Docs’ From Indigenous Media

Viacom is turning to Indigenous Media’s 60-second documentary format to help promote original shows on Paramount Network, which is midstream in a rebranding shift away from the dude-focused Spike.

Paramount Network and Viacom Velocity, the conglomerate’s in-house branded content studio, struck a deal with Indigenous Media to develop, produce and distribute on social media native episodes of “60 Second Docs.” The partnership begins immediately and will run for at least one year.

The “60 Second Docs” for Paramount Network will cover an untold story or behind-the-scenes detail relating to the cabler’s slate of new scripted and unscripted originals. In addition to promoting the shows, Viacom will pitch the one-minute videos to advertisers for brand integrations.

Among the first Spike/Paramount Network shows featured in “60 Second Docs” will be “Waco,” an event series starring Melissa Benoist, Julia Garner, Michael Shannon and Tyler Kitsch; and “American Woman,” starring Alicia Silverstone and Mena Suvari. Viacom plans to fully cut over Spike to the Paramount Network name in January 2018.

Not every new episode of “60 Second Docs” will be tied to a Paramount Network show; Indigenous will continuing producing segments separate from the Viacom deal.

The Viacom-Indigenous deal follows the studio’s production of a “60 Second Docs” special promoting Spike’s six-part documentary series “Time: The Kalief Browder Story.” On Facebook, the segment has been viewed 4.2 million times to date.

“Not only does the ’60 Second Docs’ format allow us to create branded content for advertisers, but it also enables us to also promote our own networks and strategically distribute this content across social media,” said Thomas De Napoli, Viacom Velocity’s senior director of content and platform strategy.

The “60 Second Docs” series generates over 70 million views monthly, according to Indigenous. The videos are distributed across Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, Twitter and VidMe.

“We are constantly looking for opportunities to expand the reach of the ’60 Second Docs’ brand and format and believe that working with Viacom Velocity we can demonstrate the power of original premium short-form content as a vehicle for brand and series promotion,” said Jake Avnet, Indigenous Media’s chief operating officer.

Indigenous Media was founded by filmmakers Jon Avnet, Rodrigo Garcia and Jake Avnet with major investors WPP and ITV. Its projects have included “Sickhouse,” a feature film composed of Snapchat videos; Indigenous is now working on four more “social-first” movies with Gunpowder & Sky. The studio also launched two incubator programs in partnership with Conde Nast Entertainment: The Big Script, with the Black List and Josh Hutcherson; and Project Her, with Lesli Linka Glatter, Kasi Lemmons, Sarah Treem, and Betty Thomas.

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • Alex Jones

    Google Removes Infowars Android App From Online Store Over Coronavirus Misinformation

    Google on Friday removed the Android version of the Infowars app from the Google Play online store, after comments made by Infowars founder Alex Jones about the COVID-19 pandemic were deemed false and harmful. Google Play was that last major internet platform that provided an outlet for Infowars, which trades in right-wing conspiracy theories and [...]

  • Van Weezer

    Weezer Debuts Online Video Game as Throwback to Simpler Times -- And Album Promo

    Eight-bit diehards, get your thumbs ready: pop rock darlings Weezer have launched a nostalgia-heavy online side-scrolling action game, playable via web browsers.  The “The End of the Game” game has users playing as one of the band’s four members and jumping and shooting their way in a (surprisingly difficult) boss fight against an oversized, beanie-clad [...]

  • Google-Mountain-View-Calif

    Google Commits $800 Million, Mostly in Ad Credits, to Coronavirus Relief Efforts

    Google and parent Alphabet are pitching in to help small businesses, health organizations and governments dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. The internet company has earmarked more than $800 million for coronavirus relief, about three-fourths of which ($610 million) is in the form of Google Ad credits to small and midsize businesses and governmental orgs, Alphabet [...]

  • Why Are Music Streams Down If

    Why Are Music Streams Down If Everyone's Stuck at Home? Experts Weigh in

    While it might seem counterintuitive that music streams would decline at a time when so many Americans were ordered to stay home, data-savvy label executives were neither startled nor concerned by the 7.6% drop in plays that happened in the March 13-19 tracking week. Simply put, they say it’s down to focus on news and [...]

  • MipTV Online Plus Initiative Launches

    MipTV Online Plus Features Showcases, Pitches, Presentations

    Reed Midem launches its MipTV Online Plus initiative Monday as a digital alternative to the conference that was scheduled to open on the same day in Cannes, but it includes many of the elements that were planned for the physical event. Among the streamed sessions on Monday morning (Paris time) will be the invitation-only Drama [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content