The gold rush for up-and-coming talent on YouTube continues as Fullscreen announced that it has signed Jack Baran, the YouTube creator behind ThatSoJack. Baran, a 17-year-old who just graduated from high school in Connecticut and has moved to Los Angeles, built his vlog-like site about his experiences as a high schooler into a site with more than 905,000 subscribers. He has roughly similar numbers of followers on Facebook and Twitter and is adding about 10,000 subscribers a week.
Baran said he decided to sign with Fullscreen because friends such as recently signed JennXPenn (Jenn McAllister) and Lohanthony were already with the site, which is both a YouTube multi-channel network and a talent-management unit. Andrew Graham and Rana Zand, who also manage JennXPenn, will manage Baran. Baran’s ThatSoJack channel will continue on AwesomenessTV through the end of its contract, which expires at the end of 2014.
“They’re doing some really cool stuff” with their creators, said Baran of Fullscreen. “It seemed really interesting and different. I really like the team they build around a creator.”
Baran is facing a series of life transitions: moving from Connecticut to Los Angeles; graduating high school; shifting to a new YouTube network; pursuing new career opportunities at an age when most teens are still picking a college.
“This has turned into a career and Los Angeles is a hot spot,” said Baran. “I need to be out here (in Los Angeles) and would like to think I’m mature enough to handle it.”
Baran said he “loved working with AwesomenessTV” and said he “had a great learning experience” there, but the DreamWorks Animation-owned site is focused on building its channel. He hopes to move into radio (he’s already made a guest appearance on KIIS-FM), acting and podcasting, along with documenting his admittedly “not the most relatable” experience of moving to West Hollywood and furnishing an apartment he’s bought at age 17.
Here’s a recent video of Baran talking about types of relationships: