September 23, 2014
Otter Media announced yesterday that it has taken a majority stake in Fullscreen in a deal that values the digital media company at about $200-$300 million. Otter Media is a joint venture between AT&T and The Chernin Group. Fullscreen connects popular online personalities — such as YouTube stars Connor Franta, the Fine Brothers, and Our2ndLife — with brands interested in reaching an audience under 30 that is increasingly looking online for entertainment.
“We don’t see anything more exciting in the media industry than what is happening with online video, over-the-top video and television increasingly migrating online,” said Jesse Jacobs, president of The Chernin Group. “What Fullscreen is doing in terms of redefining entertainment and media for young adults is powerful on a global scale.”
“About four years ago, former YouTube executive George Strompolos left his job to start Fullscreen based on the idea that the next generation of creators would percolate on social media and speak directly with fans,” reports The New York Times. “Fullscreen now has emerged as one of the leading entertainment companies in the YouTube-dominated digital video landscape. The company works with more than 50,000 content creators who count more than 450 million subscribers and four billion monthly views.”
Traditional entertainment groups are actively pursuing the digital video market, and according to eMarketer, digital video ad spending in the U.S. is projected to reach $5.96 billion this year.
“It’s a new world,” suggests Strompolos. “Both Hollywood and Madison Avenue have recently taken notice and truly started to embrace this change.”
While Fullscreen primarily draws its revenue from online advertising, the company is planning expansion into integrated marketing, talent management, merchandising, live events, and a subscription-based video service.