When car-focused producer Donut Media announced an $800,000 seed round back in May, it revealed its intention to launch Donut Originals, a platform for automotive content. Three months later, one of the startup’s biggest programming initiatives so far has gone live. Donut’s first web series is titled Up To Speed, and it features histories of well-known cars.
Donut has produced plenty of videos since its 2015 launch — its most popular clips have titles like “Two Grannies, One Lamborghini” and “Fast Driver, Slow Car vs Slow Driver, Fast Car” — but with Up To Speed, it is making use of a serial format. In each episode, host James Pumphrey traces the lineage of a popular model back to its roots. Up first is the Volkswagen GTI, which Pumphrey discussed in a video that has since received millions of views across Donut’s distribution network.
While Up To Speed is primarily driven (no pun intended) by its host’s automotive passion, Donut also sprinkles in clips from popular TV shows and movies to keep its viewers attentive. The startup is also taking suggestions for cars to feature in future Up To Speed episodes, and viewer feedback seemed to factor into the decision to highlight the Honda Civic Type R in the show’s second installment.
The launch of an in-house web series comes weeks after Donut signed with talent agency WME, a move that signaled its intention to expand its brand to new horizons. “We’ve had a lot of success creating one-off videos, but as we’ve grown fans have been begging us to do a series,” said Donut CEO Matt Levin in an article about the launch of Up To Speed. “We’ll continue doing the one-offs we’re known for, but now our fans will know exactly what they’re getting each week.”
New episodes of Up To Speed will arrive each Thursday.