alchemy networks (logo)*There’s always another side to the story. A whole network’s worth when it comes to African-Americans.

Drawing from a wealth of experiences and lifestyles, Peter Griffith is bringing different aspects of Black culture to the forefront as CEO of Alchemy Networks, an online urban lifestyle and celebrity entertainment network featuring original programming.

Chatting with EUR’s Lee Bailey, the media industry veteran revealed Alchemy’s current successes while alluding to a bright future ahead for the YouTube-affiliated brand, which has built a reputation for being the website’s first multi-network targeting African-Americans.

“We’re the only ones that are aggregating the African-American space in this fashion and, to be clear, we are also doing something unique. We don’t want to be the biggest. We just want to be the best with the markets we go after,” Griffith stated.

The team behind Alchemy Networks consists of Griffith as well as former TMZ Networks head of marketing Alvin Williams, Anthony Maddox, a former head of production for Bad Boy Films and Griffith’s longtime collaborator Xothil Arkin. The group’s YouTube alliance came from the website’s desire to fund a channel for the African-American community. Although they respected YouTube’s request, Griffith confessed that he and his cohorts had a bigger goal in mind.

“What we told them was ‘We’re not the same.’ Let us come back to them and tell what we thought was the best way to approach this community,” he recalled. “And we came to them and said ‘Look. What we’d like to do is develop not just one channel, but several channels that target different demographics of the African-American community.”

The result was the birth of a new slate of programming on YouTube. In December, Alchemy launched its first premium channel, Kaleidoscope. The outlet’s programming is geared toward 18-34-year-olds with a focus on celebrity gossip, urban music and entertainment. Alchemy’s second channel, FWD, is scheduled to launch in March for African-American females ages 25-54, a market Griffith feels “hasn’t really been focused on on YouTube.” Like Kaleidoscope, FWD will offer music, gossip and entertainment as well as beauty and fashion.

The creation of FWD and Kaleidoscope isn’t the only things in the Alchemy stable. The network’s alliance with Bunim/Murray Productions (“The Real World,” “Project Runway,” “Keeping Up with the Kardashians”) has already yielded three original shows: BRKDWN, Red Hawt Gossip and Lookbook. In addition, Alchemy’s YouTube deal also included an agreement to partner with celebrities to launch channels together as well as aggregate existing YouTube channel dedicated to African-Americans.  Among those on board is “Real Housewives of Atlanta” star Kandi Burris, whose involvement is a natural fit that Griffith feels will be beneficial for all parties involved. The former Xscape member’s show, “Kandi & Friends,” is slated to debut in March.

“The reason why we went her is because she’s in touch with her fans,” said Griffith. “There’s celebrities and there’s celebrities, right. She really knows her audience and that’s something that we encourage because marketing is key here and she knows our audience very well.”

To date, more than 30 YouTube channels are aggregated under the Alchemy Networks umbrella, which averages a million views per week and nearly 900,000 YouTube subscribers. With that amount of traffic, Griffith is confident that shows appearing on Alchemy Networks can leverage their popularity into bigger exposure.

“We offer a very interesting solution. Quality content,” he stated. “It’s low cost that they can partner with, take a look at and leverage into putting on cable at a time when they really don’t have a lot of dollars left to produce quality content. And we have seen a number of these channels have expressed interest in working with us to leverage and syndicate our content that we currently have on our channels…it’s a unique time for us because we actually have capital to produce quality content. We have partners that are producing quality content at a time when a lot of these urban channels they’re in need of content and they don’t have a lot of dollars to spend against it. And we offer a low cost partnership solution.”

Story Bottom Line:

  • *Alchemy Networks (https://www.youtube.com/user/thealchemynetworks) is the only YouTube multi-channel network dedicated to 18-54 African-American consumers in the Hair, Beauty, Fashion and Urban Lifestyle categories. Through its aggregation of over 30 YouTube channels, Alchemy Networks already averages one million views per week and has nearly 900,000 YouTube subscribers. http://www.thealchemynetworks.com/
  • *Alchemy Networks is also launching three original channels, Kaleidoscope, FWD Network and a premium channel in partnership with Kandi Burruss (“Kandi & Friends”).
  • *Alchemy has also partnered with reality tv vets Bunim/Murray Productions (“The Real World,” “Project Runway,” “Keeping Up with the Kardashians”) to create three original shows that are already live: BRKDWN, Red Hawt Gossip and Lookbook.