AwesomenessTV Unveils Gen Z-Focused Slate of Digital Programming

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The company will soon debut feature film 'You Get Me' on Netflix and has renewed a number of its online series, including 'Freakish' on Hulu.

While most of the media world is still focused on figuring out millennials, AwesomenessTV has moved on to a new generation, gen Z. 

The youth media brand renewed its focus on the teen demographic Monday at its NewFront presentation in front of ad buyers in New York.

"Many more advertisers this year have embraced marketing across gen Z," AwesomenessTV president Brett Bouttier told The Hollywood Reporter ahead of the event. But, he noted, "this generation evolves so quickly. They refuse to be labeled, and they embrace their own dynamism. They respond to advertising, just not the way advertising has been for the last 50 years." 

Through appearances from online stars Liza Koshy, Claudia Sulewski and Hannah Macpherson, the company showcased the programming it is creating to reach that young demographic. The bulk of its programs are returning series, including Freakish, which debuted on Hulu in October; Foursome, which will head into its third season on YouTube Red; and go90 series Guidance and [email protected]. Season two of The Commute, which debuted on AwesomenessTV, also will return for a second season. 

Among the company's new projects is Awesomeness News, an editorial brand that will focus on the issues that Gen Z care about, including politics, the environment and social justice. The news channel will be available across AwesomenessTV platforms. 

Awesomeness is also debuting its next feature film, You Get Me starring Bella Thorne and Halston Sage, on Netflix on June 16.

In addition to its AwesomenessTV brand, the company also runs DreamWorksTV for the younger end of the Gen Z demo and Awestruck for millennial moms. The company has hired Carrie Franklin, formerly of ABC Digital Studios, to run Awestruck as it expands into scripted programming including Confess, based on the novel of the same name. 

While Awesomeness has zeroed in on providing digital content for its audience, the company isn't completely eschewing television. Chief business officer Kelly Day noted on stage that while television saw a 40 percent decline in the 12 to 24 demo viewers in 2016, she wasn't "here to tell you that TV is dead." 

Instead, she pointed to new skinny bundles from YouTube, Dish, AT&T and others as an example of how TV is changing, announcing that Awesomeness would soon expand its over-the-top distribution onto platforms like these. "We are focused solely on building this brand for this audience," she added. 

The Awesomeness presentation comes as the company undergoes a transition following the sale of its parent company, DreamWorks Animation, to Comcast. Co-founder and CEO Brian Robbins has left the company, which is in search of a new chief. 

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