Hearst acquires a 25 percent interest in teen-skewed multi-platform media company for a purchase price of $81.25 million.
GLENDALE, CA and NEW YORK -- DreamWorks Animation and Hearst Corporation announced that Hearst has acquired a 25 percent interest in teen-skewed multi-platform media company AwesomenessTV (ATV) for a purchase price of $81.25 million and will partner with DreamWorks to grow ATV. ATV founder Brian Robbins and ATV president Brett Bouttier will continue to lead the company.
“Few companies have built the global audience of millennial females as quickly as AwesomenessTV,” said Steven R. Swartz, president and CEO of Hearst Corporation. “For us, it's very important to make a bet on the future of how content is created. Together, in partnership with DreamWorks, we see great opportunity in supporting the consumer media franchise that AwesomenessTV continues to build.”
DreamWorks and Hearst plan to work together to support ATV's efforts to enter into new content channels, broaden its audience and expand its geographic reach. Under the agreement, ATV will gain immediate access to Hearst's subscription video on demand (SVOD) technology, which will rapidly accelerate ATV's ability to offer content directly to consumers across all types of formats.
“This is an extremely exciting partnership for AwesomenessTV and DreamWorks as we continue to implement our long-term strategy to maximize the value of our content and properties through multiple distribution platforms,” said Jeffrey Katzenberg, chief executive officer of DreamWorks Animation. “We're delighted with the opportunity to partner with Hearst, in part because it has outstanding global brands, a very valuable international presence and industry-leading technology, and also because of its demonstrated track record of successfully partnering with media companies and supporting their growth trajectories.”
In just two years, AwesomenessTV has grown into one of the Web's biggest multi-channel networks for emerging online talent, with an average of nearly 800 million monthly views and a subscriber base that now totals over 114 million. Its top YouTube channels -- including Cimorelli, Miss Glamorazzi, Tyler Oakley, Cameron Dallas and Nash Grier -- have created overnight YouTube stars and are watched each week by millions of viewers in the digitally-engaged, millennial demographic. Big Frame, a leading talent management company; Awesomeness Consumer Products; Awesomeness Music and Awesomeness Ink are also under the AwesomenessTV umbrella.
“Brian Robbins and Brett Bouttier are democratizing media by enabling young talent to create their own content, be discovered by their peers and then be showcased across AwesomenessTV's network of channels, as well as television shows and even movies,” said Neeraj Khemlani, co-president of Hearst Entertainment & Syndication and president of Hearst Digital Studios. “It's socially-driven content by teens for teens across every platform.”
“Hearst has a strong track record of identifying emerging media companies and trends which will be invaluable as we enter into our next phase of growth and look to solidify our position as a leading, next-generation media brand,” said Brian Robbins, ATV founder and CEO. “With this new partnership, we will benefit from Hearst's deep industry and creative experience as we continue our strong and productive relationship with DreamWorks Animation.”
Source: DreamWorks Animation/Hearst Corporation