Television producer Lemuel Plummer has joined with social media celebrities King Bach, Amanda Cerny and DeStorm Power to launch an subscription video on demand service that it bills as programming as created by millennials, for millennials.
Zeus will launch July 13 with original scripted and unscripted series from a roster of digital influencers that include the service’s founders. Although shows have yet to be announced, it’ll feature lifestyle programming — including comedies, dramas, dance, talk and fitness — from Bach, Cerny and Power, as well as other social media personalities.
“Our philosophy is we’re greenlighting people, not shows,” said Plummer, who’s best known for the Preachers franchise on Oxygen. “And that makes us quite different … We’re putting the power in the hands of the influencers, to create what they want to create, because they know what their audience wants.”
Zeus will compete for subscribers and attention in an increasingly crowded space of on-demand offerings, vying with such established and well-financed rivals as Netflix, Amazon Video and Hulu. The self-financed startup hopes to capitalize on the social media cachet (and millions of followers) of its founders to bring subscribers to the ad-free streaming service.
“We are ready to leverage our creativity and influence to offer an unlimited variety of short- and long-form content to the tech-savvy, millennial generation of consumers,” said Cerny.
Zeus has been in development for the past two years, over which time Plummer has assembled a tech team with experience at such top-tier tech and entertainment companies as Disney, Viacom and Apple. He’s also assembled a production crew to work alongside the internet influencers, as they develop more highly produced content for the paid service.
“With Zeus, we are using the latest technology and working with professional production teams to create our dream projects,” said co-president Power.
Zeus’ co-founders plan to remain active on other social platforms, where they’ve established relationships with their audiences and continue to promote their work. The content they create for Zeus will be exclusive to the on-demand service, where the co-founders hold an equity stake and stand to reap the direct benefits of their creative works.
“They have recognized that they have helped to create a lot of success for a lot of these social media platforms that exist today, such as Instagram and YouTube, helping them bring in billions of dollars in revenue” said Plummer.
Zeus’ influencer co-founders — and the television veteran, Plummer, are hoping for the chance to cash in on that popularity on the service, which will charge a monthly fee of $3.99 and be distributed via the Apple App store, Google Play and Amazon App Store.