LOS ANGELES: Documentary series Justin Bieber: Seasons, premiering exclusively on YouTube next month, promises fans a raw and revealing look at the making of the pop star's first new album in over four years.
Seasons is slated to bow Jan 27 at 12pm ET (1am Jan 28, Malaysia time) with new episodes launching each Monday and Wednesday at noon ET. The 10-episode docuseries will be available free to watch (with ads) on YouTube, which previously teased its pact with Bieber.
Bieber's show for YouTube, featuring all-new music, obviously will serve to promote the new album and act as a lead-in to his 2020 tour, set to hit 45 cities next summer.
Per YouTube, Seasons will take viewers behind the scenes to show Bieber's process of creating new music; the motivation for his fifth studio album; and the aftermath of his decision to cancel the final shows of his 2017 Purpose tour. The series will also reveal parts of Bieber's private life – including never-before-seen footage from his wedding this year to Hailey Bieber – featuring interviews with Hailey, his closest friends and collaborators, and Bieber himself.
YouTube also released a trailer for the series.
YouTube calls the Bieber project as a "homecoming" for the Canadian-born signer, currently the most-subscribed artist on YouTube with nearly 48 million followers. Bieber started posting homemade videos to YouTube in 2007, then began uploading covers of songs – leading to his discovery by Scooter Braun, who has been Bieber's manager ever since. Videos on Bieber's official channel have generated over 20 billion views to date.
"When I was getting started, YouTube provided me a platform and a community where I could share music, experiences and moments with my fans," Bieber said in a statement. "It feels great to partner with YouTube for this original documentary series. I want my fans to be part of this journey."
It's the 25-year-old singer's first docuseries. He previously starred in two documentary-style concert films, 2011's Never Say Never and 2013's Believe, both directed by Jon M. Chu.
Bieber recently shared in an Instagram post that he has suffered from depression and used drugs when he was younger, but said he has turned his life around with the help of religion and that his marriage is "the best season of my life".
YouTube is banking on Bieber's global fanbase to drive viewers to the ad-supported Seasons series. As part of YouTube's revamped programming strategy, new originals series and specials, including Justin Bieber: Seasons, are available for free in front of the paywall. Subscribers to YouTube Premium will continue to get ad-free access to all YouTube originals and will be able to binge-watch all episodes of Seasons starting Jan 27.
YouTube once saw original programming as underpinning its subscription business, but it has abandoned scripted entertainment to focus on ad-supported originals in three categories: music; learning; and celebrity/personality-driven series. The video giant's slate of other music-focused original series and specials have included Coldplay: Everyday Life – Live In Jordan, How To Be: Mark Ronson, Taylor Swift – Lover's Lounge (Live), Ariana Grande: Dangerous Woman Diaries and Demi Lovato: Simply Complicated.
"Justin Bieber's courage as an artist is truly admirable and we are grateful he continues to share his inspiring story on YouTube," said Susanne Daniels, YouTube's global head of original content. "As we aim to spotlight authentic struggles and real-life triumphs in our YouTube Originals, we are thrilled to add this special project to our 2020 slate."
Justin Bieber: Seasons is directed and executive produced by OBB Pictures' Michael D. Ratner with photographer Joe Termini set to direct additional episodes. The docuseries is produced by Bieber Time Films, SB Projects and OBB Pictures. Bieber serves as executive producer, alongside Scooter Braun, Allison Kaye and Scott Manson for SB Projects and Michael D. Ratner, Scott Ratner and Kfir Goldberg for OBB Pictures. Alex Piper, head of unscripted originals for YouTube, and Cara Casey, development lead for YouTube originals, oversee Seasons for the video platform. – Variety.com/Reuters
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