Univision will dramatically expand the size of its YouTube creator network with the addition of the ACE Family, a fast-growing channel run by L.A.-based couple Austin McBroom and Catherine Paiz.
The ACE Family launched in 2016 with prank videos before turning to vlogging about their family life. McBroom, a former NCAA basketball player, and Paiz, a fitness model of Hispanic descent, have two daughters: Elle, 3, and Alaïa, who was born in October 2018.
On YouTube, the ACE Family has amassed over 16 million subscribers and they have more than 32 million total followers across their platforms. All told, ACE Family generates around 100 million video views monthly. That will bring the Univision Creator Network, which comprises 100 channels, to more than 360 million global views monthly across YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Univision will work with McBroom and Paiz to develop new content formats and will manage ad sales for ACE Family under a revenue-sharing agreement. Previously, the ACE Family was affiliated with Studio71.
“Austin and Catherine are a young, talented family that share our mission to entertain and empower audiences,” said Jennifer Perri, VP of the Univision Creator Network, noting that ACE Family has a huge Hispanic audience. “When it came time for them to search for a new network partnership, they came to us and it felt like the right fit.”
The ACE Family’s McBroom has been at the center of controversy. Last year, he was called out for old tweets in which he denigrated black women. Then in January, McBroom posted a video showing himself buying a penis-shaped novelty lollipop for a young girl (presumed to be a family relative) and joking about it, generating a wave of online outrage.
In the wake of the uproar, McBroom and Paiz said in a Jan. 28 video they were “taking a break” from posting YouTube videos to focus on their merchandise and app businesses and said they were producing a docu-series about the family. The couple didn’t address the lollipop incident; ACE Family resumed posting YouTube videos about a month later.
Asked about the lollipop-video controversy, Perri said, “They’re human. We all make mistakes.” She also said, “Based on every conversation I’ve had with them, their focus is on empowering the community and their building a business — the No. 1 thing for them is a focus on their family.”
Univision dealt directly with McBroom and Paiz to sign them to the Univision Creator Network. The UCN team, in addition to ad sales, will look for opportunities for the ACE Family to appear in Univision programming and events. Perri is also talking to couple about expanding into new content areas; for example, with Paiz, Univision will explore building out beauty and mom-focused programming. “We’re a boutique-size network, so we really can work closely with our creators,” Perri said.
In a statement, McBroom and Paiz said, “We are excited to join the Univision Creator Network family and be part of a company where we feel valued and part of a supportive community. We are proud of our Hispanic heritage and as many of Univision viewers, we are raising bilingual and bicultural children, that is why UCN is a perfect fit for our family.” (ACE, by the way, is an abbreviation formed by the initial letters of Austin, Catherine and Elle.)
For Perri, a standout of the ACE Family was their charity basketball tournament in June 2018 featuring YouTubers and celebs, which sold out 9,000 tickets in a few minutes to benefit the Thirst Project, a non-profit organization that aims to bring safe drinking water to communities around the world. “They recognize the power of the platform to build a great brand and give back to the community,” Perri said.
This year, ACE Family is producing another hoops event, scheduled for June 29 at L.A.’s Staples Center, which will feature McBroom going one-on-one with Chris Brown, the R&B singer whose legal issues most recently involved his arrest after being accused of rape, an allegation Brown denies.
Launched in 2015, UCN’s roster of U.S.-based creators include RosyMcMichael, SUPEReeeGO, The Crazy Gorilla, Josh Leyva, the Martinez Twins, Jackie Hernandez and Ana Alvarado (aka Lipstick Fables).