Verizon and Hearst are shutting down Rated Red, the joint video brand the companies created to target millennial conservatives.
“Complex Networks is restructuring Rated Red and closing its Nashville office at the end of August,” a company spokesperson told BuzzFeed, which first reported the news. “We will continue to focus our efforts to expand our slate of popular series for our core Complex brands and with a growing list of distribution partners.”
Rated Red was the result of a partnership between Verizon and Hearst to develop digital video programming targeting a mobile millennial audience.
The venture was announced in March 2016, and moved under Complex Networks when Verizon and Hearst bought Complex Media Inc. that same year.
The partnership also created video brand Seriously.TV, which shut down last year.
Rated Redbranded itself as “the voice of Heartland millennials,” with videos ranging from live music performances to gun reviews and food shows on smoked meats and fried snacks. It also offered tips on the outdoors, such as “how to throw a casting net.”
The brand had over 2 million followers on Facebook, 280,000 on YouTube and over 40,000 Twitter followers.
A number of smaller, digital-native outlets have had trouble navigating an ecosystem dominated by Facebook and Google’s changing algorithms and large slice of online advertising revenue.