CNN aims for cool factor with new online video service

CNN aims for cool factor with new online video service
PHOTO: Internet screengrab

WASHINGTON - A new CNN-funded video startup launched Tuesday, aiming for the cool, young and connected audiences the cable news channel is missing.

"Great Big Story" is described as "a socially distributed video network" that "seeks out awesome, untold and inspirational stories about new frontiers, the human condition, planet Earth, tastes and flavors."

The new service is aimed at "millennials" or young adults born after 1980 who often don't subscribe to cable television or watch traditional news channels, but stay informed through online services such as Vice, BuzzFeed or Facebook.

"We're storytellers. We want everyone to share great big stories," said a statement from the new group, an independent startup funded by CNN.

"But we're pretty darn sure these 'millennials...' are hungry for more than what's out there these days. There's a gap. We're going to fill it."

The new service says it has a "multiyear investment from CNN" and will also work with sponsors on "branded content", or paid advertising videos.

"We're a startup with a head start. We have our own leadership team and office," the statement said.

According to co-founder Andrew Morse, Great Big Story is looking to break new ground.

"It's not a website. And it's not an app, video series or cable channel," Morse said in a note.

"Great Big Story is something else: an independent network, custom-built for the mobile and social platforms that are changing the way we watch video. It was conceived as a way to reach new audiences in new ways, with an authentic and original voice."

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