CNN buys Beme, a video sharing app founded by YouTuber Casey Neistat

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Eager to reach a millennial audience that’s increasingly drifting away from traditional broadcast platforms, CNN has agreed to buy Casey Neistat’s video sharing app Beme for $25 million.

Beme allowed users to share short four second videos through a mobile app. Unlike Vine, where the videos were often had a more cinematic flair, Beme was far more intimate, and intended for its users to shoot footage by holding their phones to their chest for a first-person perspective.

Beme actually launched in summer of 2015, but despite early success claims including half a million downloads and one million videos uploaded within its first few days of availability (many of these users came from Neistat’s hugely popular YouTube channel, where he commands an impressive following.), things went quiet about the app following its debut – so much so that Neistat even posted an explainer video on YouTube a year after launch explaining “what the hell happened” to the app. This preceded a May relaunch as the app exited beta with many bug fixes and functional adjustments in tow.


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Beme still never really found its footing, at least not with anywhere near the success of comparable social video apps like Snapchat or Still, CNN is acquiring it with the intent of investing in the team (hiring producers, developers and content creators) and the product in order to create a new brand focused on a millennial audience, according to Variety.

Last week, he announced that he is ending his popular daily vlog to focus on bigger projects, and now it’s clear he was talking about this tie-up with CNN.

CNN intends to shut down Beme, but at the time of writing, the service is online and the app remains available to download from the Apple App Store and the Google Play store.

Casey Neistat and the 12-person developer team will move on to CNN, where they will work on an undisclosed project. According to the New York Times, “Mr. Neistat hopes to bring that idea of authenticity to a news and media environment to draw in a younger audience largely untapped by the cable news network.”



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