Digital Media Rights (DMR) said it has formed a new social media division that will curate content for social platforms in order to push distribution and create revenue and marketing opportunities.
DMR Social starts out with a footprint of more than 17 million subscribers and followers on YouTube and Facebook across eight brands. Collectively they average more than 284 million video views and 8 million hours watched per month.
The formation of DMR Social marks a change in strategy for DMR, which had primarily used social video as a marketing tool. Now it will use social as an incubator for new OTT channel concepts and to drive distribution and generate revenue.
DMR Social plans to launch new channels in genres including Black culture, the paranormal, true crime and unsolved mysteries.
The new unit also recently started to experiment with additional platforms including Discord, Instagram, TikTok and Twitch.
Two years ago, the company began testing new social channels in genres such as K-pop, classic anime, LGBTQ+ and arthouse cinema. Some of those channels have already built substantial followings.
The company said five new brands that were started as social video channels--Cinehouse, C-Crush, K-Crush, QTTV and RetroCrush--already average 492,00 subscribers on YouTube and 671,00 followers on Facebook.
DMR launched RetroCrush.tv in March. It recently became a free, ad supported streaming television channel carried on Peacock, The Roku Channel, Plex and Vizio SmartCast. Cinehouse has become a free ad supported channel on Stirr and Plex.
DMR Social is being led by Will Chao, VP digital content, and Danelys Sidron, VP channels.
“By launching DMR Social as a new division, we are formalizing social media as a dedicated publishing and video distribution business which over a short period of time has become a very successful, growing revenue stream for the company -- both via advertising and by helping convert free users of our mobile and connected TV apps to paid subscribers,” said David Chu, DMR co-founder and CEO. “We look forward to building upon the billions of video views and millions of subscribers and followers we have already generated across Facebook and YouTube as we expand to more social media platforms.”
The social media activity is boosting DMR’s existing VOD apps and free linear channels. Over the past year, app users have more than doubled across its portfolio. The company converted between 45% and 60% of its free trials to subscriptions through the first quarter and churn is less than 15%, the company said.
DMR also credits social media with increasing unique viewers for its linear streaming channels--AsianCrush, Midnight Pulp and Retro Crush. On average, unique viewers are up 20% per month and hours viewed grew 30% per month.
“With digital rights to thousands of titles, we can showcase our content and create genre-specific brands tailored specifically for each social media platform which is a great way to engage fans, build audiences, and incubate concepts prior to making the investment required to build new apps and websites around them,” said Chu. “We can also take advantage of the sophisticated targeting mechanisms these social media platforms have to reach new audiences more efficiently.”
Broadcasting & Cable Newsletter
The smarter way to stay on top of broadcasting and cable industry. Sign up below
Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.