Aug 08, 2019
The two brands led Viacom Digital Studios to new highs this year.
Earlier this summer, Comedy Central released the 22nd episode of its digital series Mini-Mocks. The short focused on Gilroy Cunnings, who runs Brooklyn Ball Barber, a salon that caters to the below-the-belt grooming needs of men. “A lot of guys who come through these doors just want their rug to match their mug,” quips Gilroy.
With 240 million views across all social platforms, “Brooklyn Ball Barber” is the most-watched digital video produced by Viacom this year.
Of course, the manscaping barbershop is fictional, created purely for parody. The video’s viral success, however, is an indication of the very serious growth of Viacom Digital Studios (VDS), an umbrella unit with Viacom tasked with spurring the digital video presence of flagship brands like BET, MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, and Nick Jr.
As of Q3 2019, VDS Video views grew 17% year-over-year, to 5.9B, and watch time increased by 85%, with 9.6B minutes viewed. In addition to Comedy Central’s “Ball Barber,” BET’s I Went Viral featuring Soulja Boy notched nearly 3 million views and the first episode of MTV’s Drag My Dad Facebook series earned more than 5 million views. Awesomeness also released a new show Trinkets on Netflix and BET premiered its talk show Black Coffee across social channels.
"The way we look at content isn't about whether we put it on cable or digital. It's not either-or. It's all about more and it's reaching fans where they are."
CMO, MTV, VH1, CMT + Logo and EVP of Viacom Digital Studios
“The investment that Viacom has made in premium original programming for social video platforms has been extremely effective,” says Kelly Day, president of Viacom Digital Studios. “By developing innovative series and partnering with great digital talent with deep audience connections, we’re seeing our viewership and engagement grow exponentially across every major platform.”
VDS gave Viacom brands access to more resources, enabling them to hire in-house digital creators. As well, aggressive digital goals encouraged them to work collaboratively. This is a departure from the linear TV programming process, where brands work independently to focus on the distinct tastes of their core audiences.