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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.

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