Web Show 'What's Trending' Goes Daily
The pioneering online series shifts focus at 18 months old, with the goal of becoming "MTV News for YouTube."
There's a new trend at Shira Lazar and Damon Berger's live web video shop, What's Trending: The show is shifting from a weekly slot to a daily one, focusing on the many viral video stars emerging through YouTube.
"There's no way for someone who just visits YouTube to find their content, no real discovery process," said Berger, CEO of What's Trending. "These personalities breaking on YouTube need a place on YouTube to be able to tell their stories."
Starting Monday, the show will air live at noon PT/3 p.m. ET, in 18- to 20-minute segments tracking trending videos on YouTube. The goal, Lazar and Berger say, is to spotlight videos from YouTube’s Original channels, plus other videos from across its network.
What's Trending, which launched in May 2011, garners about 150,000 views per week on all its platforms, including YouTube. Revenue is drawn from advertising -- What's Trending has worked with AT&T, Samsung, Virgin America and Vizio -- as well as syndication.
While the show is moving from a weekly to daily schedule, the amount of programming will grow only slightly, Berger says; What's Trending had been one hourlong show per week.
The show had focused on trending topics across the entire social web, drawing from YouTube but also Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and other sources of virally trending content. Lazar and Berger also brought guests into their Hollywood facility, from web personalities including iJustine and Felicia Day to Mark Cuban, Morgan Spurlock, Will.i.am and Kevin Smith.
In the hunt for new content to spotlight, Berger said, the What's Trending team noticed "at the core of trending topics, many times there will be video at the center." And much of that video was coming from YouTube.
The move to daily follows news of What’s Trending’s recent Primetime Emmy nomination in the Interactive Media category, a development that drew grins from Berger and Lazar when The Hollywood Reporter visited their Hollywood studio recently.
"We produce this show knowing we're creating this caliber of a product, and having that reflected by the Emmy nomination we got ... having that kind of industry recognition was incredibly important to us," Berger said. "As we go daily, we have a lot to hold ourselves up to. We're excited about where we're going to take this thing."