Channel 4 has partnered with ProSiebenSat.1’s digital studio, Studio71, and consumer goods giant Unilever to identify “up-and-coming social media influencers with commercial potential”.
Influencers will be selected via a pitch process and successful talent will receive mentorship from the partners on topics like building scalable business plans, on-screen exposure and developing branded content.
Channel 4, Studio71 and Unilever will then have the opportunity to develop ideas further with the startups at their own discretion.
Studio71 will lead the UK influencer pitch process and will look for talent in ‘key commercial growth areas’ – such as consumer products, lifestyle and entertainment.
“The launch of influencer commerce partnerships is the natural progression for us,” said James Stafford, managing director, UK, at Studio71.
“We already provide a huge range of creative and business services to help our social influencers with their day jobs creating great content, and this launch allows us to really develop their full potential as entrepreneurs.
“Social influencers make great entrepreneurs because they have a deep and trusted relationship with millions of fans and they often have expertise in their areas and audience insights that many big brands struggle to match.”
Channel 4 chief commercial officer, Jonathan Allan, said: “This is a particularly interesting project for Channel 4.
“As the leading young skewing channel in the UK with a remit to nurture and grow new talent, this partnership will help us to explore a new generation of on-screen talent and business entrepreneurs that might benefit from our content expertise and innovative commercial models such as the Commercial Growth Fund.”
The deal was developed through Channel 4 and ProSiebenSat.1’s involvement in the European Media Alliance – a network of European broadcasters that includes a joint programmatic sales house – alongside Unilever Ventures.