ABC Family to rebrand as Freeform, aimed at the “Becomers” generation
In a surprising move, ABC Family President Tom Ascheim announced today that ABC Family will be renamed and rebranded as Freeform in January 2016. The move comes as the network sees tremendous growth within the pre-teen to college demographic and as their shows continue to dominate social-media charts.
The network spoke about “Becomers,” a demographic of viewers at,” a life stage that spans people who are 14-34. According to the company, “The name, look, feel and attitude of the network will capture the nature of the Becomer audience and the modern way this audience generates and consumes media.”
“Freeform evokes the spirit and adventure of our audience,” says Ascheim. “Freeform will deliver new, exciting original content as well as all the favorite shows our viewers already love on ABC Family.”
In a statement released to the press, ABC talks about the name change stating, “The name Freeform speaks to the mindset and attitude of what the channel has defined as Becomes. Traditionally, Becomes are in high school, college and the decade that follows and are navigating the wonderful, fun, exciting, and scary time in life when you experience the most firsts – first car, first apartment, first job, first love, first heartbreak – all the firsts that exists between who they are and who they want to become.”
The company went on to say, “Becomers represent a life stage rather than a generation. Eleven years ago, ABC Family was ahead of the curve when it began super-serving Millennials to become their entertainment staple. Today, nearly 70% of 12-34 year olds are Millennials, but in five years, Millennials will be less than half of the target.”
With the name change, the company will still produce the same terrific content it has in the past aimed at the Becomers audience. “Pretty Little Liars,” “The Fosters,” “Young and Hungry” and “Baby Daddy” will all return in early 2016 for their winter premieres alongside the world premieres of new original series “Shadowhunters” and “Recovery Road.”
During the 2014/15 season, ABC Family landmarked as cable TV’s #1 network in Prime for the first time in the channel’s 15-year history in Women 18-34 and was the #1 ad-supported cable TV network for the fourth-consecutive season in Females 12-34. In addition, ABC Family extended its streak as a Top 5 cable TV network to seven-straight seasons in Women 18-49 and placed among the Top 10 for the seventh season in a row in Adults 18-34 and Viewers 12-34.
A social-media powerhouse, ABC Family is the #1 entertainment cable TV network this season to date across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. A Top 5 cable TV series for the season, “Pretty Little Liars” continues to dominate across multiple social media platforms: #1 TV series on Instagram, with close to 144 million engagements and 3.7MM followers; holder of the Top 6 most tweeted scripted telecasts in cable TV history; #1 scripted show on Pinterest with over 172,000 followers; one of Snapchat’s biggest brands with 1.5MM friends and 14 million Likes on Facebook