DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc. and Hearst Corporation announced today that Hearst has acquired a 25 percent interest in AwesomenessTV (“ATV”), a leading multi-platform media company serving the global teen community, for a purchase price of $81.25 million and will partner with DreamWorks to grow ATV. Brian Robbins, ATV founder, and Brett Bouttier, president, 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, CEO 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.”
About DreamWorks Animation
DreamWorks Animation creates high-quality entertainment, including CG animated feature films, television specials and series and live entertainment properties, meant for audiences around the world. The Company has world-class creative talent, a strong and experienced management team and advanced filmmaking technology and techniques. DreamWorks Animation has been named one of the "100 Best Companies to Work For" by FORTUNE® Magazine for five consecutive years. In 2013, DreamWorks Animation ranked No. 12 on the list. All of DreamWorks Animation's feature films are produced in 3D. The Company has theatrically released a total of 30 animated feature films, including the franchise properties of Shrek, Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda, How to Train Your Dragon, Puss In Boots and The Croods.
About Hearst Corporation
Hearst Corporation (hearst.com) is one of the nation’s largest diversified media and information companies. Its major interests include ownership of 15 daily and 34 weekly newspapers, including the Houston Chronicle, San Francisco Chronicle, San Antonio Express-News and Albany Times Union; hundreds of magazines around the world, including Good Housekeeping, Cosmopolitan, ELLE and O, The Oprah Magazine; 29 television stations, which reach a combined 18 percent of U.S. viewers; ownership in leading cable networks, including Lifetime, A&E, HISTORY and ESPN; significant holdings in automotive, electronic and medical/pharmaceutical business information companies; a 50 percent stake in global ratings agency Fitch Group; Internet and marketing services businesses; television production; newspaper features distribution; and real estate.
AwesomenessTV, a next generation multi-platform media company serving the global teen audience and one of the most subscribed to teen destinations on YouTube, is a majority-owned subsidiary of DreamWorks Animation (Nasdaq:DWA). Included under the AwesomenessTV banner are AwesomenessTV, a channel featuring scripted and reality series including IMO, The Daily Report, Awesomeness Hollywood, Cheerleaders, The Jenn and Andrea Show!, Side Effects and Runaways; the ATV Network, a community based MCN focused on discovering and supporting the next generation of YouTube stars, Awesomeness Music and Big Frame. Beyond the YouTube platform, AwesomenessTV produced and distributed the feature film Mindless Behavior: All Around the World, Expelled and The SMOSH Movie as well as the AwesomenessTV series and Terry the Tomboy movie on Nickelodeon and Richie Rich on Netflix. AwesomenessTV was founded by Brian Robbins (Smallville, Varsity Blues, All That) and Joe Davola (In Living Color, Smallville, MTV Networks).