Not many companies these days compare themselves to the cable television network pioneers of the 70’s and 80’s. Awesomeness is one of them.

Using digital pipes instead of coaxial wiring, Awesomeness picked up early funding and set out to capture Gen Z—youths 12 to 24. Just as cable TV networks “erupted out of the new operators that created cable systems, digital was allowing us to do the same,” says AwesomenessTV President Brett Bouttier.

“We starting investing in shows and talent and building a brand for this demographic,” Bouttier explains in this interview with Beet.TV. “Because we listened to them a lot and we communicate with them, the brand really took off and it’s become a massive success.”

The company started with funding from YouTube and venture capitalists and progressed to a who’s who of investors, including DreamWorks Animation. It’s now owned by Comcast, Hearst Corp. and Verizon “who are themselves figuring out what the future of media distribution and programming looks like. We’re a great fit.”

DreamWorks “really encouraged us and gave us rocket fuel to continue to be entrepreneurial and innovative,” says Bouttier.

During the 2017 NewFronts, Awesomeness announced it is getting into the news business, catering to the way its audience responds to news events. “They’re responding by wanting to get actively involved,” says Bouttier. “What they can do now. How they can make a difference.”

What used to be called digital or TV or film, it’s now just about making good programming. “Our job is to build audience” with a demographic that, according to Bouttier, influences some $200 billion in annual household spending.

“And they literally will be the largest generation ever,” he says of GenZ.

This video is part of Beet.TV’s coverage of the IAB’s Digital Content NewFronts 2017. The series is sponsored by the IAB. For more videos from the #NewFronts, please visit this page.