April Reign, creator of the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite, is partnering with New York-based Overture Global to launch the Ensemble digital content studio to accelerate opportunities for people of color.
Reign, an advocate and cultural marketing expert, has emerged during the past five years as a prominent voice on diversity and inclusion after bringing attention to the shocking lack of diversity among Academy Award nominees in 2015.
“I’m excited to be partnering with Overture,” Reign said. “They have a reputation for creating professional content for a switched-on audience. We are in a unique period wherein we’re able to bring together brands and creators to tell stories, such as interviews, web series and documentaries, that reflect a wide range of American and global human experiences.”
Ensemble aims to offer development, production, promotion, distribution, sales and marketing support to creatives. Ensemble hopes to take advantage of the increased demand for short-form sponsored content.
Donnovan Andrews, CEO of Overture, said the goal is to reach multicultural viewers who are digitally savvy.
“We know, for example, the mobile usage rate by young African Americans is extremely high and Ensemble intends to create a platform for showcasing mindful and considerate content developed by and for African Americans,” Andrews said. “Until now, Overture has focused on telling societal-impact stories, such as innovative efforts to solve the global water shortage and supporting women in international STEAM fields.”
Ensemble’s formation was driven by the need to close the gap between the high rates of content consumption and mobile usage among Black consumers. But there remains a significant gap in programming, ownership and sponsor funding for content from diverse creators.
“This is not to say all of the content we produce will be exclusively for the Black audience: our strategy is heavily based on creating, and supporting inclusive content production and delivery opportunities for diverse teams in a way that hasn’t been done before,” Andrews said. “Just think about the stories from refugees, immigrants and cultural influencers that’ve been lost because they’ve been historically excluded from this process.”
(Pictured: April Reign)