Why the loopy world of Vine is so hot right now
Viners, as the six-second (mostly millennial) content creators are affectionately called, aren’t just your regular influencers or glorified gif makers. They’re hopeful actors, comedians, musicians, and filmmakers.
Some are signing movie deals, like Nash Grier and his fellow teen Viner Cameron Dallas have done with DreamWorks’ AwesomenessTV. Vine creator Alx James, who has 5.4 million followers, also signed a reality TV development deal with Collins Avenue. Early Vine adopters are being headhunted by talent companies like New York’s GrapeStory and L.A.’s Jukin Media to work with entertainment companies and marketers.
“Vine is just getting off the ground,” says Will Keenan, president of Endemol Beyond USA. “It’s filling the same role in terms of how creators and publishers look at YouTube as a way to aggregate audiences very efficiently,” he said.
Earlier this year, Keenan signed Vine star Brittany Furlan to help the comedian transition into longer-form content. He has also tapped KC James, Brandon Calvillo and Klarity for a comedy show on the company’s comedy vertical called SHFTY (Super Happy Fun Time, Yay!). “Vine is all about audience acquisition,” Keenan said.
More than 150 million people worldwide have downloaded the Vine app, and in the first quarter of 2013, the platform saw an impressive 403% growth in users. Though still in its infancy, Vine is attracting early-adopter 18- to 25-year-olds who join Vine to watch short videos (mostly on the weekend, at around 11 a.m.) born from the minds of the web’s newest generation of creative, brand-friendly influencers.
Viners are especially open to brand integration, because the platform is not monetized in any other way, said Keenan. Whereas some YouTubers — especially those that have been vlogging for a really long time — are worried about being perceived by fans as “selling out,” Viners typically have no qualms about biting into a hamburger during their 6-second clip, he said.
Here is a quick-hit look at the top three Viners you should know:
#1 Nash Grier (age 16)
8.1 million followers: The North Carolina teen gains approximately 100,000 followers each week, and he worked with MTV at the beginning of the year to promote its show Teen Wolf by creating looping gory werewolf videos.
#2 King Bach (age 25)
6.9 million followers: The Canadian-born comedian/actor is based in California and was first known for his YouTube channel, BachelorsPadTV. He plays a recurring role in Showtime’s House of Lies and starred in Nick Cannon Presents: Wild ‘N Out.
#3 Brittany Furlan (age 24)
6.3 million followers: The California comedian is the most popular female Viner and is known for roles on E!’s Reality Hell, as well as YouTube shows Prank My Mom and Endemol Beyond’s SHFTY. She’s created content for the likes of Wendy’s, Trident gum and Benefit Cosmetics.
With files from Melita Kuburas