Fuse Media has announced seven new original shows, and the return of 10 series, including the Wilmer Valderrama-hosted Hollywood Puppet Show.
President and CEO Michael Schwimmer used a conference call as an opportunity to plug Fuse’s growth across platforms.
“No other network focuses as exclusively on this underserved audience as we do,” he said. With legacy networks scrambling to retool for the digital age and OTT offerings “popping up like wildflowers,” Schwimmer asserted that Fuse and its FM (Fuse Music) network are more nimble in meeting the often fickle millennial demand.
“Our strategy to entertain and engage young, multicultural millennials across all of our platforms has come together,” Schwimmer said in the company’s official announcement. “We’re bringing together research, practical experience, and a talented team to deliver what this audience has told us they want: a place to see themselves, their passions and values on display, including through authentic, multiplatform access to their favorite music artists.”
The Hollywood Puppet Show returns with season 2 on July 17, 2018, and will feature guests such as Marlon Wayans, Lilly Singh, Lil John and Meagan Good. The show is produced by Valderrama’s WV Entertainment and eOne.
New shows include ‘Side Gig’ (working title) with T-Pain, ‘Hip-Hop Houdini’ with Smoothini, featuring the street magician’s interactions with Iggy Azalea, A$AP Ferg, and others. New docuseries ‘The 212’ follows six millennials in New York City’s music, fashion, and art scenes, all looking to get noticed by major stars in the music world.
Fuse Media will also air a currently-untitled show that packages short-form digital and social offerings from the Fuse Digital Content Studio, which recently launched.
According to Schwimmer, the multicultural millennials who flock to Fuse make up 44% of the national total and 75% of all millennials in top U.S. markets.
“Everyone knows the turbulence and change going on in media landscape continues unabated [with] new offerings popping up like wildflowers,” he said during a conference call highlighting upcoming content and new initiatives to position Fuse with viewers and advertisers.
Last year, “we fine-tuned our brand,” he said. As a result, Fuse network increased its target audience of adults 18-34 by 33 percent from 2016, while digital viewers were up 49%.
Hip-Hop@45—a series of long-form and short-form videos celebrating hip-hop’s 45th anniversary—will air across all Fuse Media platforms this summer.
“Our target multicultural millennial audience appreciates brands that are authentic, thought-provoking, and reflect their values and passions,” said Executive Vice President of ad sales and integrated marketing, Jason Miller, in a statement. “We continue to engage our audience everywhere they consume content, and connect our brand partners’ messages to them in a way that resonates most, with content native to each platform.”