On May 10, Deadline revealed a new gig for Alex Piper, previously the Head of Unscripted Originals at YouTube. Piper is joining the talent management firm Night, where he will lead a newly-minted venture called Night Studios.
As its name implies, Night Studios will be a content production operation that will work with the big-name creators who are partnered with Night. The company’s roster of talent includes MrBeast, Aphmau, and LankyBox, all of whom make regular appearances in our Top 50 charts.
Piper joined YouTube in 2019, but the FOX and NBC alum never really got a chance to settle into that role. At the time of his arrival, YouTube original content head Susanne Daniels was already rumored to be on her way out. Three years later, the rumors came to fruition. Daniels departed her post and YouTube shifted its programming priorities once again, leaving Piper in a tough spot.
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Now that he’s starting with a clean slate at Night, Piper will have the opportunity to build an original content division from the ground up. As of this post, Night Studios hasn’t revealed any specific programs it’s working on, but we wanted to get an idea of the approach Piper and Night Media CEO Reed Duchscher will utilize as they cultivate their new venture. Here’s what those two execs told Tubefilter:
Tubefilter: Will the new studio just be doing unscripted stuff, or are there plans to incorporate scripted content as well?
Alex Piper: Night Studios will be a multi-platform, multi-genre independent content studio. We want to meet the world’s best content creators where they are, and we know firsthand that their interests are across all genres: from scripted to unscripted, from animated to live-action, from live events to long-form documentaries. We plan to have a slate as diverse as the creator community’s passions.
Tubefilter: How are you planning to pitch the new studio to distributors and brands?
AP: One great idea at a time. Not only do we have the great pleasure of working directly with the best digital talent in the industry, but also the tremendous advantage of being able to use their IP as a proof of concept and launching pad for premium ideas. The creators’ proven ability to migrate their engaged Gen Z audiences across platforms gives us an edge in working with buyers and brands to find the right home for every idea.
Tubefilter: Will YouTube be the main distribution point for these projects or will they go elsewhere?
Reed Duchscher: We understand the important role that YouTube has played in the growth and success of so many in the larger creator community, but Night Studios is tasked with finding the best home for every project to succeed. The premium content we are developing and producing will be tailored to that platform and reflect the audience they are trying to reach. So YouTube will always have a key place in our ecosystem, but in general we will be agnostic to the home as long as it’s the right fit for the project.
Tubefilter: How will Night Studios work with the other departments of Night’s growing business?
RD: Night is the premier creative outpost for the most popular digital creators in the world, and every element of the company is focused on helping our creators reach their full potential. Night Studios can offer them premium opportunities as entertainers, while Night Ventures can help them support their entrepreneurial aspirations. Long story short, Night wants to add as much value to our talent as possible and we hope that the launch of Night Studios provides an additional way of doing just that.