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Rob Fishman used to connect young stars with advertisers. Now he’s making videos with them at his new startup, Brat.

Brat has $2.5 million in seed funding. (and Brat) star Kristen Hancher
Peter Kafka covers media and technology, and their intersection, at Vox. Many of his stories can be found in his Kafka on Media newsletter, and he also hosts the Recode Media podcast.

Here’s an idea: Make videos, aimed at a young audience, who you think will watch those videos on their phones.

It’s a popular idea! As you may have heard, every single digital publisher and TV network is trying a version of this. So is Facebook. So is Snap. So is Verizon. So is Jeffrey Katzenberg. You’re probably doing this, too.

Add one more to the long list: Rob Fishman, who is trying to do this with Brat, his new studio/production/distribution startup in Los Angeles. You can see some of the stuff Brat has worked on over on YouTube, with lots more to come.

One difference between Fishman and everyone else trying this: Fishman may have a decent idea of what young audiences like to watch, because Fishman’s last company specialized in working with people who appealed to young audiences.

In 2013, Fishman co-founded Niche, which connected “influencers” on platforms like Twitter and Instagram with advertisers who wanted to work with them. Twitter bought Niche in 2015 (for at least $30 million, and likely much more, at least according to some people on the sales side of that deal), and Fishman worked there until last fall. (His co-founder, Darren Lachtman, left this month.)

The through-line here is that Fishman figures he can work with the same kind of digital native talent he used to work with at Niche. But instead of brokering ad deals for them, he will give them a chance to make videos for his studio.

“I look at each of the creators we work with as an under-leveraged media property,” Fishman says. Example: Kristen Hancher has 16.6 million fans on, the lip-syncing app, and she’s starting to build a base on other platforms, too. Now Fishman has created a series of three-minute clips for her:

One big difference between Niche and Brat: Four years ago, Fishman was in a brand-new field (which quickly became populated by competitors). This time around, everyone is making videos, all the time. So distinguishing your work/company/brand from everyone else’s is much harder.

I’ve had several conversations with Fishman over the last few weeks, trying to find a concise way to explain how his approach differs from competitors. In the end, this may be the kind of thing you just have to see when you see it.

“It’s one of those things, where there’s this sentiment that everyone’s doing it. But if you look at who’s doing it well, we feel pretty good about what we’re doing.”

In the meantime, Fishman has $2.5 million in funding from a wide constellation of investors, including Lerer Hippeau Ventures, Advancit, Box Group and The Chernin Group, to figure it out.

This article originally appeared on

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