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There’s another player in the digital content race.
Targeting Gen Z creators and consumers, with a focus on longform content, former YouTube global head of creator partnerships Benjamin Grubbs and serial Bay Area entrepreneur Jonathan Shambroom recently announced studio and streaming platform Creator+. Now it’s setting the roster for its Hollywood-facing wing, tapping leadership for the content studio.
The studio will be led by longtime digital media executive and producer Adam Wescott, who hails from Select Management Group. Wescott, who developed and produced content around digital creators like Eva Gutowski, Gigi Gorgeous and Lauren Riihimaki, departs Select two years after he and co-founder Scott Fisher merged operations with Lisa Filipelli’s Flip Management.
“There is a big opportunity to rethink traditional scripted formats through the eyes of Gen Z and embrace the storytelling prowess of today’s digital-first creators,” said Wescott. “Our audience was raised on digital media. We’re excited to work hand-in-hand with creators who know this audience best and bring their passion projects to life.”
The vertically integrated Creator+ aims to provide financing, production, distribution, ecommerce and community capabilities for talent. It recently raised $12 million in a venture-backed financing round that also includes prominent creators, technology founders, and entertainment industry execs.
Unlike most Gen Z-focused operations, Creator+’s attention is on longform projects. “We believe the next generation of great storytellers are digital natives that don’t just want to tell stories in short-form bursts,” said CEO Shambroom, “but rather inspire and impact their audience with compelling feature-length movies.”
Those movies will premiere on Creator+’s forthcoming platform, with the studio leading both the financing and marketing of projects. Among those joining Wescott on the studio side is Ben O’Keefe, who worked on Stacey Abrams doc All In: The Fight for Democracy and the Elizabeth Warren presidential campaign. He will serve as the head of diversity and impact development and production. McKenna Marshall, from The Kennedy/Marshall Company, serves as director of development, and longtime production executive and producer Nick Phillips (Dimension Films, Sony Screen Gems, Revolver Picture Company) will oversee production.
Wescott and Phillips will serve as producers on all projects with Marshall as associate producer.
The initial slate of Creator+ films, made in partnership with top digital creators, is expected to premiere in early 2022. YouTube creators Jake Roper, Peter Hollens and Wendy Ayche are among initial investors and serve as advisers to the company.
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