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Fullscreen to Announce Strategic Services for Mainstream Celebs

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Fullscreen is known for guiding the online careers of some of today's biggest online video properties and brands, but it's now taking on a new set of clients: A-list mainstream celebrities. Seeing the reaction online creators get from their social video accounts—and the brand sponsorships they pull in—celebs from the worlds of movies, TV, sports, and music want to get in the act. But first they need assistance creating an organized strategy. Fullscreen is taking the know-how it's gained shepherding online creators and applying it to major names from other fields. The company has already taken on several A-list clients, and will issue a formal announcement soon.

Speaking at the recent VidCon conference in Anaheim, California, Fullscreen vice president of talent Stu Smith explained that stars think of their social accounts as fun ways to engage with fans or market a new project, but never as a business. However, musicians especially see the ways record labels monetize YouTube channels, and are starting to think of social video as a business opportunity.

A team of roughly 20 at Fullscreen is now working with established stars on creating social video-based businesses. Some of these stars (whom Smith declined to name) have deep followings on social platforms already. Under Fullscreen's direction, these stars are migrating their followers from Instagram to YouTube, where monetization opportunities are greater.

"On YouTube, the media sales, the pre-roll ads—there's real monetization there," Smith said. "If you have 40 million followers on Instagram and zero on YouTube because you've never done YouTube, you've got a pretty good opportunity there to start creating content, start on YouTube. Every YouTube channel starts with zero, anyway, so you build that and leverage the access you have to your audience on Instagram or any of these other channels to let them know that you're doing it and feed that ecosystem."

For its part, Fullscreen helps A-listers strategize what Smith calls "a north star vision," meaning a goal that they're working toward. The company helps with scheduling, shoots, and creating posting schedules. There's more planning involved with tier one talent, he notes, as every video results from three to six months of planning and a lot of discussion. Fullscreen also helps with the nuts-and-bolts work of search engine optimization, tagging, and metadata.

So far, Smith said the A-listers Fullscreen is working with are motivated to get this right. While they have teams of dozens of people around them, they're hands-on with the social video strategy. For many, this is the closest they've done to direct-to-consumer work, and they're eager to succeed.

While Fullscreen regularly announces the new creators it's signed, don't expect that to happen with its A-list clients. It's already started working with several, and the Fullscreen name isn't attached to their efforts. The word-of-mouth referrals the company gets from them is worth more than splashy PR announcements.

For Fullscreen, working with established stars is different than working with online talent, but the outcome is the same: "When you sit in a room with them and hear them talk about their content, it's hard for me to even describe how it's different, but it is very different and yet it actually leads to the same end result, which is great content that the audience loves," Smith said. "It's like different ways of getting there."

Photo: The Fullscreen lounge at VidCon

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