24 MAR 2021

FUSE MEDIA KICKS OFF FIRST UPFRONT SINCE BECOMING A LATINO-OWNED COMPANY

With a focus on delivering new opportunities to reach its young, diverse audience, Fuse Media also announced the launch of a new streaming division

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Fuse Media, entering its first upfront since becoming a Latino-owned and managed company, is providing advertisers with access to its one-of-a-kind audience as the only entertainment company focused on celebrating Blended America across all platforms. With a majority of Americans under 50 years of age living in blended households, and young, multicultural demos making up the fastest-growing segments of the U.S. population, Fuse Media is going into its upfront presentations under a banner that further defines its unique audience and position in the media landscape: Fuse: Bringing Stories to Life That Reflect and Celebrate Our Blended America.

With a focus on delivering new opportunities to reach its young, diverse audience, Fuse Media announced the launch of a new streaming division. This brings together the company’s existing digital distribution, social media and OTT properties, and Fuse.tv, with all of its streaming initiatives led by CEO Miguel (Mike) Roggero and Head of Digital Patrick Courtney. Roggero stated: “As a Latino-owned and operated company, Fuse Media is keenly positioned to serve our audience because, unlike others, we are this audience. By aligning our board and management team with our content and audience, our company more than ever fully reflects the diversity of our programming and viewers. This shift has made us one of the few minority-owned media brands in entertainment.” He added, “Because we are able to turn on a dime to take advantage of the rapidly-changing media marketplace, we have been able to expand the Fuse Media brand to everywhere audiences want to view our content, including the rapidly-growing streaming universe”.

Additionally, Fuse is debuting two new free ad-supported streaming television (FAST) brands this month, Fuse Backstage and Fuse Sweat, with additional brands to be added to the company’s streaming portfolio later this year. Fuse Backstage is where artists come to play. Superstars and emerging talent light up this collection of music bios, performances, interviews, news, docs, reality shows, films, and specials. For music enthusiasts and fans of cutting-edge stories, Fuse Backstage is oversized and overstuffed with legendary artists and fresh new talent.  Following a soft roll-out, the linear channel officially launches March 24, available to approximately 100 million users via Samsung TV Plus, VIZIO SmartCast, and more, and on Redbox’s Free Live TV in the coming weeks.

Moreover, Fuse Sweat is bringing back the icons who ruled and fueled the 1980s at-home fitness craze.  The moves, the music, the spandex! Come back to a simpler time when the fitness world was ruled by Jane Fonda, Richard Simmons, and newly nostalgic fit-pros like Billy Blanks and Denise Austin. No VHS player? No problem! Stay motivated in your home office with the soundtrack of spandex and high-energy leg warmers, and feel free to jump in on the action any time. Fuse Sweat launches this month on the Fuse-owned and operated apps, and with a channel on VIZIO SmartCast® with additional carriage to be announced in the coming weeks.

Additionally, the company remains committed to empowering its underserved audience everywhere they consume content by continuing key multi-platform initiatives that authentically reflect our blended America, while serving as a champion of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). This includes the renewal of the company’s core, DEI franchises: Be Change, a year-round series of pro-social call-to-action campaigns to empower this audience; Future History (see below for more info); and Buy Small, the company’s new initiative supporting small businesses with ethnically diverse, differently-abled, LGBTQ, and women owners. Through Buy Small, Fuse Media will, throughout the year, provide these businesses with free social media promotion and 30-second streaming and TV spots. Fuse has also committed to featuring women and minority-owned businesses in its original content. 

"Fuse continues to adapt to the rapid shifts in consumer tastes by delivering authentic, entertaining content across all screens and harnessing our creative power to impact positive change. The benefit for advertisers and agencies is that Fuse authentically connects with the diverse audience they seek to engage.  Empowered by our content across all platforms, these viewers have come to embrace Fuse as an inspiring reflection of the societal changes most important to them and their families.  We’ve earned their trust and in turn they trust the brands that support Fuse," Fernando Romero, Fuse Media Head of Ad Sales, stated. 

On the branded content and events side, Fuse Media has also announced new partnerships with IPSY and Sofar Sounds, as well as a renewed partnership with Grand Park.

●        Fuse is partnering with mission-aligned brand IPSY, the world’s largest beauty subscription, to create digital and social content tied to Fuse’s soon-to-premiere original series, Shine True. IPSY’s mission is to inspire self-expression and make beauty more inclusive and welcoming to all. Shine Truesubjects, Kain and Prism, will receive beauty products from IPSY’s Glam Bag, Glam Bag Plus and Glam Bag X, showing viewers how they use makeup in their journey towards self-expression. The video will premiere in April on IPSY and Fuse’s digital and social media channels. IPSY is a BFA (Beauty For All) Industries brand and a part of their community of more than 30 million passionate beauty enthusiasts.

●        Fuse is also expanding its branded content business around live music, via a partnership with Sofar Sounds to create content around their virtual events that will be available across Fuse’s platforms throughout the year.

●        Finally, Fuse Media has renewed its partnership with The Music Center and Grand Park to bring Los Angeles’ biggest New Year’s Eve celebration, Grand Park’s NYELA, back to Fuse, providing an opportunity for people around the world to enjoy the park’s grand-scale New Year’s Eve experience—L.A.-style. Last year’s celebration featured performances by Steve Aoki and emerging artists from his Latinx Dim Mak En Fuego record label.

Fuse Media’s new and returning entertainment properties were specifically developed to continue to fuel the 16-plus year company mission of providing story-driven programming and content that entertains and empowers young, underserved, multicultural audiences and to collaborate with creative, brand, and distribution partners who share this goal. By successfully targeting a diverse, millennial and Gen Z audience, Fuse’s content has received such major industry honors Peabody and Emmy Awards and attracts audiences that are more than 10 years younger and more diverse than its peers.  The company plans on building upon this success in 2021-22 and beyond.

“Entertainment has a unique opportunity to empower us, which is why Fuse focuses on telling stories that showcase creative self-expression, passionate entrepreneurs, and young leaders who are inspiring change. We’re celebrating our Blended America through these stories, and are excited to be extending our reach to new platforms, making meaningful connections with our audience through a slate of authentic and inclusive original content,” Marc Leonard, Fuse Media SVP of Content, said.

The company has greenlit and renewed several originals, with more in development, featuring: 

●        Sex Sells (8x30) - When we talk about sex, we mean business. And business is booming. With apps like OnlyFans exploding in popularity and artists like Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion pushing sexuality further into the mainstream – it’s time to normalize the topic of sex. Enter WeezyWTF, former tech professional, now one-half of the popular podcast Whoreible Decisions. Weezy dropped her nine-to-five for a career that celebrates sex-focused businesses and importantly, destigmatizes sexuality – especially female sexuality. In every episode of Sex Sells, Weezy explores a new sex-related business, while also helping solve the sexual issues of a celebrity guest - whether they know they have them or not.

●        Untitled Disruptor Art Show (8x30) – Art means a lot of things to a lot of people. But, for the Untitled Disruptor Art Show, it means identifying the artwork and artists that have rejected the traditional path and, in the process, created something incredible. In every episode, one native Angelino will explore how Los Angeles’ traditions, history, climate, and blended identity have influenced and shaped their work.  The series is as much about the City as it is the Artist.

●        Like A Girl (working title, 8x30) - Denise Jones is a dynamo. Since the age of 8 or 9, she’s been kicking the asses of over-confident boys on-and-off the pitch. And, as an adult, she’s been a vocal leader in the fight for gender equality in sports. Now, in Like a Girl, Denise will bring the fight for gender equality to life via a multigenerational interview and competition series. Every episode, Denise will spend a day with a talented young, female athlete, including training and competing with some of the biggest athletes on the planet.

●        Shine True (8x30) - Premiered in the U.S. and in Canada on Monday, March 22 at 10pm ET/PT) - Previously announced (with the working title Clothes Minded), Shine True is a co-production between Fuse Media, OUTtv, and VICE Studios. The series tracks the journeys of trans and non-binary young adults leading up to a big life event. Shine True is hosted by transgender musician, artist, activist and life-coach Lucas Silveira (The Cliks) and non-binary photographer and model Richie Shazam.  Gender expression can be challenging to navigate for trans and non-binary young adults. In each episode, Lucas Silveira and Richie Shazam, along with mentors and role models, guide someone who is trans or gender non-conforming as they explore their inner identity and passions, which they convert into authentic self-expression and the ability to “Shine True.”

ORIGINALS IN DEVELOPMENT: (all working titles and produced by the Fuse Content Studio)

●        Brother Nature Saves the World - Fuse is on an adventure to save the world – kind of. Instead of convincing comedic and influencer friends to load into a RV and travel around the country visiting nature preserves, our host will convince them to pile into a podcast studio and participate in a one-of-a-kind adventure. Every episode, our host and two friends – one celebrity activist and one expert – will sit down for a conversation about our important role in preserving wildlife, and our crucial role in stopping global warming.

●        Borrowed Nation - America is a melting pot of cultures, each one adding to our unique and diverse society. Borrowed Nation takes a closer look at the different American practices, hobbies, foods, and celebrations that have come from other countries and cultures, and explores the origins, transformation, and evolutions of some of America’s favorite cultural institutions.

●        Pay It Forward – Pay It Forward is a close-ended social experiment. Each week our host will construct a series of situations designed to deliver happiness to a handful of unsuspecting people. Like a mix of Ashton Kutcher and YouTube’s Mr. Beast, we’ll hit the streets of LA to deliver coffee to ICU nurses, lead a tree planting campaign and more, empowering viewers to make their world what they want it to be: happy.

●        The Mentorship - In this hybrid mentorship/internship experience, a lucky young aspiring professional will get an opportunity to learn about their dream job from an iconic entrepreneur in their field. This will be a journey of knowledge and experience, as well as a sobering introduction into the challenges of being a professional creative.

●        The Passport - Travel is a privilege few are offered. For many, the borders of their block, neighborhood or city define their experience. When your world is restricted, natural monuments like oceans, canyons, old-growth forests and more can be foreign and illusive. Typically, these opportunities are missed due to financial strain but what if that wasn’t an issue? Where would people go and how would their travels influence them? The Passport is a journey of discovery, where the answers can be found over the horizon.

●        You Can’t Stop Us - More and more, gen-z and millennial trailblazers are rejecting a traditional career, instead choosing to chase their passions. For many, they’ll be the first women, men, non-binary, Black, Latino, Asian, LGBTQ, etc… to shatter their personal glass ceilings, and break into the industry they love. The path to achieving their dream is never easy. But despite the challenges, these young people will pour their financial, physical and emotional resources into their dreams. And that is where we find them. Every episode of You Can’t Stop Us is an intimate, self-shot documentary about the trials, tribulations and triumphs we all experience when we attempt to achieve our dreams.