December 12, 2014
Publisher Hearst is paying $81.25 million for a 25 percent interest in DreamWorks Animation’s AwesomenessTV. Announced yesterday, the deal will help Hearst leverage a younger audience, while DWA will use the cash infusion to help develop the fast-growing AwesomenessTV business. The pact plans to help AwesomenessTV expand into new content channels, broaden its audience and expand its geographic reach. AwesomenessTV will also gain access to Hearst’s subscription VOD platform.
AwesomenessTV had already partnered with Hearst for Seventeen magazine’s YouTube channel.
“Since launching in 2012, AwesomenessTV has grown to be one of the biggest YouTube multichannel networks, with an average of nearly 800 million monthly views and a total subscriber base of more than 114 million,” reports Variety.
“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.”
AwesomenessTV continues to expand. It acquired YouTube MCN and talent-management company Big Frame this year. It also launched a consumer products business, formed Awesomeness Music with Universal Music Group, and created young-adult book publishing imprint Awesomeness Ink.