YouTube is turning to the universal language of music to spice up its holiday programming.
With a nod to the diversity of the Christmas experience worldwide, the online video company has commissioned a special show for YouTube Red subscribers that features a range of musical stars, among them Mariah Carey, Rudy Mancuso, DJ Khaled and Fifth Harmony.
The Keys of Christmas is being produced by Endemol Shine North America, Endemol Shine Beyond USA and Just Entertainment Studios. Grammy Award-winning music director Dave Meyers (Katy Perry, “Firework”; Rihanna, “Where have you Been”) is the show’s director. Carey serves as executive producer.
The decision to develop a music special points to the popularity of music videos on YouTube. It also demonstrates an effort by the company to create content aimed at both traditional viewers and digital natives.
Bonnie Pan, president, Endemol Shine Beyond USA, stated in a release, the show is aimed at developing a new format bringing together a host of traditional and new music celebrities.
In The Keys of Christmas, YouTuber Rudy Mancuso (over one million subscribers) discovers the spirit of Christmas through music, having been cut off from his digital lifeline (i.e. his phone). The special is Mancuso’s first lead role in a commissioned music special.
In his journey to capture the essence of Christmas, Mancuso takes viewers on a journey of original music composed by an assortment of musicians including Alex Aiono, Boyce Avenue, Nicky Jam, Bebe Rexha and Gregory Brothers. (There is also a cameo appearance by boxing legend Mike Tyson.)
The show will be available on YouTube Red on Dec. 19.