When MTV Networks alumni Judy McGrath and Nick Shore formed Astronauts Wanted in 2013, they certainly understood younger audiences. What has become a joint venture between McGrath and Sony Music Entertainment has a broadly defined audience of 16 to 30 but its “sweet spot” tops out at 24.
Astronauts Wanted’s three main formats are premium episodic series, movies and “experimental storytelling” on social platforms. It pushes its programs “across anywhere you can think of,” SVP of Branded Entertainment Christine Murphy explains in this interview with Beet.TV.
“The places that people have started consuming this content have changed but the actual appetite for the content hasn’t changed,” she adds. “That TV episode, really high-quality content is still on demand. They just looking at it in different places.”
At the Digital Content NewFronts, Astronauts Wanted announced a new scripted comedy series titled AUSSIE GIRL, which is based on the real life experiences of actress/writer/director Tammin Sursok, along with the series UNDERBELLY, which features rapper and social sensation Timothy DeLaGhetto. Also unveiled was a new incubator program in partnership with Ripple Entertainment and the company’s SNARLED network for progressive, Gen Z women, and the third season of hit series HEYUSA with Grace Helbig and Mamrie Hart.
Sharing the Astronauts Wanted NewFronts presentation was Rumble Yard (formerly Sony Music Originals) with a look its new original programming, including TURN TABLE, in which TV personality Al Roker fuses his love for cooking and music.
The company works with brands “in the spirit of partnership,” weaving series concepts and marketer needs together with the right talent. “Everything we make, we don’t cast talent, we create with the talent and with the brand together,” says Murphy.
This typically involves discussions about what keeps a particular brand up at night and then figuring out how to create a meaningful series that can move the needle for whatever the brand’s trying to accomplish.
Astronauts Wanted then finds the appropriate director, writer and producer, “making sure there’s chemistry. And then just blowing the roof off the house.”
Murphy says they’ve created “a ton of hits” that can continue season after season and they can live on “versus just one and done.”
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.