BY SAM GUTELLE
Last December, the Hearst Corporation paid $81.25 million in order to acquire a 25 percent stake in AwesomenessTV, the multichannel network that appeals to tweens and teens on YouTube. The investment led to a partnership between the two companies, and now, that partnership has resulted in a pair of new webseries. Hearst Digital Studios is behind Prank U and The Honest Show, both of which are distributed by AwesomenessTV.
In Prank U, top online video stars teach viewers how to pull silly pranks on their friends. In the first episode, guest star David Dobrik (who has more than one million subscribers on Vine) pulls the ol’ Oreo creme/toothpaste switcheroo on some unsuspecting victims.
The other new series, The Honest Show, is entirely scripted. Its episodes turn common scenarios on their heads by approaching them with complete honesty. In the premiere, a teacher (played by another Vine star, Arielle Vandenberg) accompanies presentations from her students with a constant barrage of truth bombs.
The two new webseries are the first of several Hearst will produce for AwesomenessTV, but this is not the first time the two brands have worked together on YouTube. One of Hearst’s most popular publications, Seventeen, has its own channel and multichannel network, both of which are managed by AwesomenessTV.
New episodes of Prank U and The Honest Show will roll out on AwesomenessTV’s YouTube channel, which has more than 2.8 million YouTube subscribers and nearly 800 million total views.
Screengrab via AwesomenessTV/YouTube