The provider of “youth-focused innovative media” has produced some of the most popular teen-oriented programming in recent memory, both online and off (including Gossip Girl, Vampire Diaries, Haute & Bothered, and Private). The company is behind some of the most trafficked online destinations (including www.alloy.com, www.teen.com, and www.gurl.com), drawing more than 17 million millennials every month across its network. And Alloy also owns and operates Channel One, a news program broadcast to middle schools and high schools across the US with a daily reach of over six million teens.
With these assets, Alloy has developed a model for web TV success: 1) Find a web series that targets teens (possibly based on a popular novel from Alloy’s book publishing division), 2) attach a sponsor looking to reach teens, 3) market the hell out of the series across Channel One and on all of Alloy’s websites, 4) distribute the series across those very same properties, 5) repeat steps 1 through 4.
Starring Tracey Fairaway (Make It or Break It) and Elizabeth McLaughlin (Ugly Betty, The Clique), First Day follows a “teenage girl who repeatedly relives her first day at a new school.” It’s like Groundhogs Day for pubescents, showcasing back-to-school gear and Selena Gomez’s fashion line instead of Bill Murray.
The eight episode original web series debuts tomorrow and features “unique retail components” in each installment. Viewers will be able to click over to Kmart.com and by products worn by First Day characters. A sweepstakes will also send one lucky winner to NYC for his or her (most likely her) head-to-toe Kmart makeover.
In addition to First Day, Alloy is scheduled to release two more digital properties before the end of the year. Hollywood is like High School With Money, a web series adaptation of Zoey Dean’s New York Times bestselling novel of the same name and Talent, a music talent search that’s part scripted series and part reality TV show.