Feb 14, 2019
By Nicole Bitette
What clicks with digital viewers and how they are investing in the future.
A YouTube video called “Vanessa’s Quinceañera Highlights” has more than 28 million views on the platform — and while that might not mean much to someone who doesn’t obsess over quinceañeras, Awesomeness saw it as an opportunity.
The company launched My Dream Quinceañera on YouTube in 2015 and discovered a passionate and loyal audience. The series garnered more than 160 million lifetime views and is now more than 200 episodes deep, with two spin-off series and two more in the works. That’s just one example of how each brand under the Viacom Digital Studios arm—which includes Awesomeness—is tackling digital content in recent years.
Kelly Day, president of Viacom Digital Studios (VDS), announced at the Spark panel “The Social Frontier: Connecting with Audiences Across Next Gen Platforms” on Wednesday that Viacom is investing heavily in digital platforms and has made incredible gains. Across brands and networks, Viacom has roughly 860 million followers on social, generating about two billion video views a month and consuming three billion minutes of content, an increase of 200% from last year.
“Being a leader in the digital landscape requires us as a company to develop a whole new skill-set in how we think about developing and producing content to how we distribute content,” Day explained.
VDS now produces hundreds of hours of original content across every platform and is partnering with talent such as JoJo Siwa, Lauren Elizabeth, Annie LeBlanc, and the Merrell Twins and more.
“It’s not enough now for us to just serve up behind the scenes footage and clips,” Day said. “We have to really develop original programming that allows fans of our shows to dive much deeper both into the characters and personalities they really love.”
Day attributed the momentum to finding what really resonates with audiences by not only considering what they are interested in but also leaning into trends and discovering what talent and celebrities are talking about.