CNN hopes to increase its supply of user-generated news videos with the acquisition, announced today, of Beme — a firm created by YouTube personality Casey Neistat and former Tumblr VP of Engineering Matt Hackett.
Time Warner’s news channel didn’t say how much it paid for the operation, which has 12 employees. With the sale, Beme will become part of CNN and will no longer function as an independent operation as of January 31.
“By joining forces with CNN, we’re able to give our mission more than just one, startup-budgeted shot,” Hackett says in a blog post. We are going to hunker down and create something new. To do that with the full focus it deserves, we have to say goodbye to Beme”
He acknowledges that “Beme as a single product failed,” but adds that “Beme as a vision for the kind of technology and media that must be built is just getting started.”
The news channel, believes that “Truth matters. Hearing voices and seeing perspectives far from your own matters. These principles, on which Beme was built, will form the core of our mission as a part of CNN.”
Beme raised about $4.6 million from two funding rounds.
Beme will function as a standalone unit at CNN, powering a new company to be introduced in mid-2017.
Neistat “will serve as executive producer of the new company and will work with Chris Berend and me to establish its editorial vision,” CNN Digital Worldwide GM Andrew Morse told staffers in a memo.
“The Beme engineering team will join Matt in building mobile video products to power our new company, and they will work closely with CNN and Turner’s technology teams to supercharge the mobile video experience across all of our digital properties.