2015 to 2016 Casey Neistat was on the top of his game he had an incredibly successful youtube channel garnering millions of subscribers and views developed an entirely new formula for daily vlogging and inspired thousands of content creators all around the world and if that wasn’t enough things were about to get even better neistat’s tech company beam was acquired by cnn for 25 million dollars things were looking great.

Casey Neistat arguably the king of youtube at the time was being given a massive amount of money and resources to create the next big digital media company but in spite of all the success money and talent beme failed.But why?

Here is the story of Casey Neistat beam the 25 million dollar failed experiment.

First let’s go back july 17 2015 Casey Neistat and his company released the social media app beam the idea behind the app was that users would put their phone up to their chest and record a video for two to eight seconds.

The intention for this was for the people recording to still enjoy the moment they were in and as soon as you finished filming your beme it would instantly be posted there were no like features either instead you reacted in real time to people’s posts and a screenshot of your face would be sent while you were watching the video all these strange ideas came together to make beme in a world with filters edits and face tuning beme was trying its best to be as authentic as possible.

Casey Neistat Film Maker YouTuber
Casey Neistat under the influence movie press release

The app was released and almost instantly gained millions of downloads and users but this was largely due to Casey neistat’s daily vlogs becoming the most popular series on youtube at the time but then after just a couple of short months of popularity beam quickly lost all of its momentum.

It wasn’t a new tik tok or vine by any means and it most likely failed due to how different it was trying to be and also due to casey neistat not promoting it enough in his vlogs sure he made a couple videos about the  app when it came out but after that no one really talked about beam it seemed as if beme was just going to be another failed app that faded into obscurities.

Then Casey Neistat announced that he sold his company beme to cnn on november 28 2016. beme was acquired by cnn for a reported 25 million dollars and with this it was also announced that the b map will be shut down just a couple months later and at first this was confusing the only thing people really knew about beme was that it was an app company founded by casey neistat and now the single app that the company had was shutting down.

Casey Neistat age was 33 when he started beme

But it was later revealed exactly what beme as a company would be doing along with casey neistat in reality cnn wasn’t paying for the beme app instead they were paying for the development team at beme as well as access to casey neistat cnn’s goal with the purchase a beam was to produce a news product that caters to a younger millennial audience they wanted to do this with interactive apps as well as a youtube channel ran by casey neistat.

cnn had huge hopes for casey neistat to be the guy to make a new network for a millennial and gen z audience and hopefully bring some of that audience to the cable news network and with that beme news was created a youtube channel that was about news and journalism it was sort of like vice but with casey neistat’s signature tone and voice a lot of the videos had that handmade quality that his videos were so well known for casey neistat hosted some of the channel’s videos and it was clear his fingerprints were all over it just based off the channel’s style and voice and along with neistat running the channel.

There was jake roper from vsauce3 similar to neistat his videos had a handmade aesthetic the beam acquisition seemed like it was off to a great start casey neistat arguably one of the most influential youtubers ever was going to be given practically unlimited money and resources to change journalism and potentially entertainment as a whole on youtube.

In july of 2017 beme news was off to the races they’re making great high quality content about a variety of subjects and the views weren’t too bad either with at least 100k of video although neistat wasn’t in every video the audience quickly became okay with this and the host native to the channel started to emerge for the first initial months it felt like this 25 million dollar experiment from cnn was actually going to pay off sure.

The channel wasn’t gaining millions of views of video but it was having a solid steady rise to success and then just over a year later after the company was acquired casey neistat put out an announcement matt hackett business partner and co-founder in beam a company that the two of them founded a little over three years ago casey and matt are moving on from beme this came as a shock to many from the outside.

It seemed like beme was doing just fine the channel was putting out steady content and cnn was excited about the development team’s apps that they were making but in spite of this outside appearance it wasn’t really what was going on it turned out that casey was growing increasingly frustrated with the business in an interview with buzzfeed knew shortly after neistat’s announcement he said this i couldn’t find answers i would sort of disappear and i would hide and i would make youtube videos for my channel because at least i would be able to yield something.

This quote is short but i think it’s very telling about how neistat was feeling at the time after all casey neistat is an artist and a primarily solo one at that he was making daily vlogs for over a year at this point and now he’s suddenly working in a company environment where things take time and for someone like neistat who puts out so much content so quickly there’s a good chance he became frustrated with the slower base teamwork approach creating content and products.

Neistat rarely makes projects with a big team and after his youtube success he was working with teams less and less his vlog just involved himself being able to make every single decision and now he was suddenly thrown into an environment where he’s now working and managing over a dozen people to create a youtube channel.

It’s safe to say this wasn’t a process that neistat enjoyed and instead chose to hide away to work on his own projects it seemed like this experiment was something that neistat just wasn’t fully invested in which ultimately led to the company’s downfall not only that but beme as a company was just confusing they were tech company at first turned media company. but also wanted to make apps on the side it seemed as if beme didn’t know which line to pick so they decided to dip their toes in both and sure these apps that were going to be made were intended to support the content coming from beme news.

But that’s incredibly hard to do when both teams want to work at different paces as a news channel you need to be fast and app development doesn’t always support that so with all these factors at play beam failed after neistat and his business partner matt hackett announced their departure beam itself was going to be shut down and folded into cnn and as for the app development team well they went to work for cnn as well and others were let go entirely from the company beam news went on for about a year and a half until their last videos uploaded on august 8th 2019 and since then we haven’t heard anything from the channel or the people involved and with that cnn’s 25 million dollar experiment ended.

But the company wasn’t without a few successes they had a genuinely great youtube channel something that i would love to see more of  and they managed to release an app during the 2016 election that interviewed people on who they voted for beme news initially felt like it could have been a massive success especially with neistat behind it but it’s clear he just wasn’t passionate enough and it goes to show that your team can have all the talent and resources in the world but without a clear vision a leader and lack of patience the company as a whole will be destined to fail.

MUST READ: https://trendingyoutubers.com/casey-neistat/


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