During this year’s VidCon, two of the most notable people in the world of online video sat down for an hour-long chat with one another. Casey Neistat, the filmmaker and vlogger who will soon launch his own news media brand alongside CNN, discussed the details of his career alongside Philip DeFranco for an episode of the latter creator’s podcast.
While the discussion between the two YouTube notables occasionally touches on DeFranco’s channel, the primary subject of the podcast is Neistat, whose company Beme was acquired by CNN last year. As a result of that deal, Beme will soon launch as a news brand aimed at young viewers. “We’re going to be making a tremendous amount of media,” Neistat told DeFranco. “We’re going to start with a daily show and a weekly investigative reporting show, and then we want to get into sports and all kinds of societal issues and music and fashion and art, and on the tech side we’re building technology that enables that media.” As he later added, “what we’re doing is so much more broad than news.”
A main question facing Beme is whether Neistat will be able to keep up his trademark authenticity while working for a major mainstream news brand. The popular creator stressed that he would do exactly that, and his comments on a controversial video he posted — in which Samsung sponsored him as he lived out a teenage fantasy — give us a good indication about how he faces backlash from viewers.
“You have to not care what your audience thinks,” he said, qualifying that statement by noting that he does often listen to his fans has a strong back-and-forth with them. “If I’m creating at the behest of what I think they’re going to like then I’m marginalizing what I’m interested in.”
In the end, no matter how successful Beme becomes, Neistat doesn’t see the forthcoming brand as the final step in his career. “I do think Beme is going to own a really big piece of real estate in the spectrum of my career,” he said, “but I don’t think I’ll retire from Beme when I’m 75. I think this is going to be the main focus of my career for the foreseeable future, but this is not going to be the last thing I really engage in.”
The entire conversation between Neistat and DeFranco, which also touches on FTC guidelines, the brilliance of Liza Koshy, and much more, can be found via DeFranco’s YouTube channel: