President Trump has turned teens into voracious consumers of politics, according to Brian Robbins, the CEO of $US650 million
video powerhouse AwesomenessTV.
At the Code Media conference earlier this week, Robbins said that he wants to open AwesomenessTV up to political coverage, since that’s what his Generation Z audience has a new appetite for.
“I’ve kind of been urging our company to really move this way for the last year, and it’s mostly because — obviously I care about what’s going on and am very impacted by it personally — but in my house, my 18 and 17 year old … until this past year, all we talked about was basketball. We’ve grown up talking about sports and stuff, and all of a sudden, all of our conversations with my two boys is politics, and it’s about what’s going on,” Robbins said.
Robbins’ children are very concerned about the current political climate, and Robbins said he knows “if my kids want to talks about it so much, my audience wants to talk about it too.”
AwesomenessTV already does some news content, but of the “fluffy, horrible entertainment news” variety, Robbins said. “We do really fluffy Hollywood, like what’s Justin Bieber drinking kind of news,” he said.
That is set to change. The reason: “An audience that really wasn’t that interested is now really interested,” he summed it up.
But what would that look like?
At its heart, AwesomenessTV is an entertainment company, not a news one, he said. So while some of it could be straight news or documentaries, it could also be scripted shows.
Robbins gave an example of a “crazy idea” for a scripted show.
“I actually wanted to do a show in a high school in a small town, two years from now, where the entire climate has changed — all of mine and your biggest fears have started to come true,” he said. The town is divided, people have been locked up, and there might be things like internment camps, he explained. “I think our audience would be really interested in that.”
And AwesomenessTV should know. The company has snagged 4.7 million subscribers on YouTube alone, and done deals to get its shows in places like YouTube Red and Verizon’s Go90. Robbins said the company produces about 40 shows a week.