The Association of Magazine Media

TIME INC.’S PEOPLE AND BELIEVE ENTERTAINMENT GROUP LAUNCH "SOCIAL CURRENCY"

...AN ORIGINAL DIGITAL SERIES ABOUT THE SECRETS TO SOCIAL MEDIA STARDOM

Five-Episode Series Featuring YouTube and Vine
Celebrities Begins Streaming on People.com April 14

 

NEW YORK, NY – April 14, 2016 – People Productions and New York City-based digital entertainment studio Believe Entertainment Group (The LeBrons with LeBron James, In the Booth with DJ/producer Tiësto, Money Where Your Mouth Is with Jay Mohr) have partnered to produce an original video series, Social Currency, featuring 10 celebrities from social media. One episode per week will be available starting Thursday, April 14 for streaming on People.com and will be promoted across all People platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat Discover and YouTube, which reach 34 million followers.

 

The series features YouTube and Vine stars Shira Lazar (What’s Trending), who also partnered with Believe Entertainment Group as Executive Producer, Bart Baker, Jason Nash, The Gabbie Show, Cassey Ho (Blogilates), Jenn Im (Clothes Encounters), Joslyn Davis and Erin Robinson (Clevver TV, The Amazing Race), Sam Wilkinson and Twan Kuyper. Each episode pairs up two of these social media stars to collaborate on a YouTube or Vine video in which they reveal the secrets to their success on social media, including unique tips and tricks, interviews with one another outlining how they got their starts and built their followings and how they respond to their many commenters—both positive and negative. Click on this link to see a preview of the series.

 

Social Currency is the latest original video series to launch on People.com. It comes on the heels of The Castle Next Door: The Novogratz Family Takes Hollywood—which premiered last month in partnership with Madica Productions and Content 23. The 10-episode series chronicled the move from New York to Los Angeles of home designers Bob and Cortney Novogratz with their seven children to renovate a castle in the Hollywood Hills. In October 2015, People launched a three-part series, The Keswanis: A Most Modern Family, which shared a glimpse into the daily life of the San Diego-based Keswani family, featuring social media star Big Nik (who has 2.7 million Vine followers), transgender first-grader Devina, aspiring teen beauty queen Sarina and their parents. The series tallied a record 315,000 streams when it first aired on People.com. People.com is also home to original video franchises, including People and EW’s The Jess Cagle Interview, Hollywood at Home, People Mom Talk and People Now, a 20-minute live online daily show.

 

“The People and EW brands reach 20 million millennials and are growing,” said JJ Miller, Executive Producer for People and Entertainment Weekly. “The time is ripe to cover these popular content creators on all of People’s platforms—including original digital video series, since they are the newest crop of celebrities and rising stars.”

 

“We wanted to create a format that was different from the standard interview, befitting of the collaborative digital space and allowed these stars to interview each other in a looser, more authentic setting, opening up honest conversations about how to succeed in the space as it continues to evolve,” said Brian Hunt, Executive Producer of the series and head of development for Believe Entertainment Group. “We are excited to partner with Time Inc./People to bring this influencer story to viewers on one of the preeminent platforms of telling pop culture and lifestyle stories.”

 

Believe Entertainment Group’s Dan Goodman, William H. Masterson III and Brian Hunt will serve as Executive Producers. Shira Lazar (What’s Trending) will also executive produce.

 

About People

Time Inc.’s People revolutionized personality journalism when it launched as a weekly in 1974 to celebrate extraordinary people doing ordinary things and ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Ubiquitous and still at the center of pop culture more than 40 years later, the People brand is accessible on all surfaces (print, digital, video, mobile, social), bringing more than 80 million consumers a unique mix of breaking news, exclusive photos, video and in-depth reporting on the most compelling newsmakers of our time. In addition, comScore ranks the People and Entertainment Weekly Network No. 1 in the entertainment news category.

 

Each year major media across the globe anticipate the cover reveal of People’s most famous franchise, the “Sexiest Man Alive” (which celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2015) sparking a lively debate on social media. With a trusted reputation and unparalleled access to the red carpet, celebrities and entertainment, an essential component of People’s editorial vision remains human interest stories, which touch and often mirror the lives of our passionate audience. People is an award-winning 24/7 news organization headquartered in New York City with reporters across the globe. For more information visit People.com and Timeinc.com, and follow @people on Twitter and Instagram, @peoplemag on Facebook and the People channel on YouTube and on Snapchat’s Discover.

 

About Believe Entertainment Group

Believe Entertainment Group is a New York City-based digital entertainment company producing high-profile content in partnership with elite talent and leading brands through a variety of digital outlets, such as web, mobile, VOD and social media. Believe Entertainment Group has launched a steady stream of recent projects, including: seasons two and three of The LeBrons, an original, animated web series with two-time NBA champion and four-time league MVP LeBron James, on Xbox LIVE (the-lebrons.com); seasons two and three of In the Booth, a documentary-style series with DJ/Producer Tiësto (youtube.com/Tiesto); seasons one and two of Money Where Your Mouth Is, a new, original game show series hosted by comedian, actor, radio host and author, Jay Mohr, that was ranked the top game show of Winter 2013-14 on Hulu and Hulu Plus; Inspired: by Sabrina, a new women’s lifestyle show hosted by HGTV star Sabrina Soto; and @EpicEDM, a new, ongoing original content series featuring top electronic dance music artists, festivals and clubs worldwide, the first studio-originated content series designed specifically for the Twitter platform. A new series hosted by actress Tia Mowry, Forever Family, is currently in production. Previous projects include a lifestyle and entertainment news series with Jennifer Lopez and Nuyorican Productions, TBE, distributed through and in partnership with AOL(cambio.com/tbe). In addition, Believe Entertainment Group formed an alliance with Paramount Digital Entertainment to help sell and distribute the hit digital series The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers (The LXD), created by Jon M. Chu (Step Up 2: The Streets and Step Up 3D) and distributed through Hulu; the company also expanded its partnership with MommyCast, the Webby Award winning multi-medium show for moms. Believe Entertainment Group is known for its trailblazing 2011 premiere of The LeBrons on YouTube with brand partners HP, Intel, Bing, Sprite and Nike, distributed through LeBron’s Facebook, Twitter and a dedicated section of LeBronJames.com. The company’s studio division develops and produces digital-first original series for OTT and digital distribution partners (including Maker Studios, People/Time Inc., Mashable, New York Post and Haven Home Media, a division of Reader's Digest Association) and develops and produces premium branded entertainment programs exclusively for individual brands, including the original animated series with Marriott International, Hot Shoppe.

 

Believe Entertainment Group is led by co-founders Dan Goodman and William H. Masterson III. The company signed an investment deal with ITV plc in 2014.

 

Goodman and Masterson have launched previous digital entertainment projects, including Seth MacFarlane’s Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy (youtube.com/sethcomedy) with Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane and meinspace.com, an online effort to support Sacha Baron Cohen’s Bruno, as well as original short-form content with the world-famous improv troupe, The Second City. Their extensive experience in advertising and marketing has led to brand and distribution partnerships with well-known, respected brands, such as Intel, Sprite, Nike, P&G, HP, J&J, Microsoft, Acer, McDonald’s, Campbell's, U.S. Army and Dell, as well as key distribution relationships delivering scalable audiences for their projects, including YouTube, Google, Hulu, Facebook, Twitter and iTunes.

 

Contact:

Caty Bennett, caty.bennett@peoplemag.com, 212-522-5974

Gretchen Wagner, gwagner@believeent.com, 347-719-1705

Date: 
Thursday, April 14, 2016