Tuesday, April 16, 2024

MrBeast and Amazon Set to Disrupt Reality TV with New Show!

HomeEntertainmentMrBeast and Amazon Set to Disrupt Reality TV with New Show!

Jimmy Donaldson, the digital phenomenon known as MrBeast who has captivated the internet with his lavish stunts and giveaways, is bringing his flair for eye-catching competitions to streaming television through a new deal with Amazon.

Mr. Donaldson, 25, will host and executive produce “Beast Games,” a reality competition show featuring over 1,000 contestants vying for a $5 million prize purse on Amazon’s Prime Video service, the company announced on Monday. The show promises to set new records for the most contestants and largest cash prize ever awarded on a game show.

The YouTuber, who has amassed over 245 million subscribers across his channels through an unconventional mix of charity fundraisers and audacious challenges, said the huge scale of “Beast Games” aligned with his signature brand of ambitious, big-budget videos. But he emphasized that the series would maintain an improvisational feel despite its mainstream television platform.

“It will look nothing like a normal game show,” Mr. Donaldson said in an interview with the “Colin and Samir” podcast. “It will have the Beast feel but just make it more high-budget.”

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With stunts like covering an entire neighborhood in tiny plastic balls and recreating the zombie apocalypse, Mr. Donaldson’s MrBeast channel has become one of YouTube’s most popular destinations. His videos routinely exceed 100 million views, pushing the boundaries of how the Google-owned platform can be used for entertainment.

Alongside the expensive challenges financed through YouTube’s monetization program and brand partnerships, Mr. Donaldson has also channeled portions of his earnings into viral philanthropic efforts. One of his most viewed productions featured surprising recipients of free cataract surgery by handing them envelopes filled with thousands in cash.

Jennifer Salke, the head of Amazon’s MGM Studios unit, highlighted Mr. Donaldson’s youth appeal and unconventional path to success in explaining the company’s pursuit of “Beast Games.”

“MrBeast has captured the attention and imagination of fans of all ages, all walks of life, and all over the world,” Ms. Salke said. “We are excited to work with Jimmy and bring his brilliant, high production concepts to our customers.”

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While “Beast Games” will span over six hours, it represents just one part of Mr. Donaldson’s rapidly expanding list of business ventures beyond his core YouTube operation.

In 2020, he co-founded MrBeast Burger, a virtual restaurant brand that has quickly grown to nearly 1,000 locations across the United States and Canada by operating out of existing restaurants. Mr. Donaldson told Time magazine earlier this year that his YouTube enterprise generates about $600 million to $700 million in annual revenue, the majority of which gets reinvested into future video productions.

The deal with Amazon highlights the potential for top digital creators to extend their online popularity into more traditional media channels and revenue streams. Video platforms like YouTube, TikTok, Snapchat and Instagram have fueled the rise of a new generation of media personalities, many of whom have built cult-like followings in the process.

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While Mr. Donaldson is among the first YouTubers to strike a major TV deal based primarily on his digital brand, other top creators have begun branching out through books, podcasts, touring performances and more. MrBeastGaming, a separate channel operated by Mr. Donaldson, even has its own associated esports organization that competes in major video game tournaments.

For Amazon, securing exclusive programming from a creator with Mr. Donaldson’s devoted online viewership represents a savvy way to lure younger audiences to its Prime Video hub amid increasingly fierce competition in the streaming wars from Netflix, Disney, Warner Bros. Discovery and others.

As he prepares to bring his over-the-top antics from YouTube to a premium subscription video service, Mr. Donaldson seems keenly aware of the importance of preserving what made his content a viral sensation in the first place.

“I need to keep delivering,” he told Time, “or the MrBeast train will stop.”

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Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee is a prolific author who provides commentary and analysis on business, finance, politics, sports, and current events on his website Opportuneist. With over a decade of experience in journalism and blogging, Mezhar aims to deliver well-researched insights and thought-provoking perspectives on important local and global issues in society.

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