Katalyst rolls out its primary weapon to support new channel: Ashton Kutcher

In a world over-run with inexpensively produced reality series, having your celebrity co-founder lend a little face time can help you stand out.

For its part, Katalyst Media insist that’s not the entire motive in enlisting Ashton Kutcher for some light appearance time on the production company’s new YouTube channel, Thrash Lab.

Then again, it can’t hurt.

Produced with YouTube premium-video-initiative money out of the Los Angeles-based film/TV/web-video production company Kutcher co-founded in 2000 with Jason Goldberg, Thrash Lab is a somewhat self-referential concept, focusing on the youthful creative types who make YouTube videos.

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Given the proliferation these days of cheaply made, cable-esque reality programming on YouTube, it makes sense that one of Thrash Lab’s early programs resemble a kind of internet version of Project Runway, where these young content creators get their work praised, criticized and judged by a panel of experts.

Katalyst calls this show Dream Bigger, and has cast Kutcher as one of the judges, alongside Anthony Batt, the Buzz Media founder who now serves as Katalyst’s president.

Batt told us Monday — the day Dream Bigger premiered — that since the channel launched June 11, Thrash Lab has drawn a “couple million” video views and around 10,000 subscriber sign-ups.

In building Thrash Lab’s audience, he concedes Kutcher’s celebrity presence is an “advantage.” Of course, Katalyst, in addition to its own channel, is also producing shows for myriad platforms across the internet — including a reality series, much like Kutcher’s old MTV show Punk’d — that was announced last week for Machinima.

Wouldn’t Katalyst benefit from rolling out its resident celebrity TV star/new media visionary a little more often?

Batt told us Katalyst works on keeping Kutcher’s on-camera work limited and strategic.

“We want to build something organic — that feels authentic,” Batt explained. “We have to make sure that when we use him, we use him effectively.”

Here’s Dream Bigger’s premiere episode:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJ9bL9q4jO8]