In a move that speaks volumes about the rising value of digital youth content, DreamWorks Animation has purchased YouTube teen network AwesomenessTV for US$33 million.
AwesomenessTV founder and CEO Brian Robbins (Smallville, Varsity Blues) will continue to lead the company as part of DreamWorks and in addition will assume an executive role at the studio to develop a DreamWorks Animation-branded digital family channel using the studio’s resources, technology and IP portfolio.
To date, the AwesomenessTV media company has amassed 55,000 YouTube channels, aggregating more than 14 million subscribers and 800 million video views. Its pop culture-laden series based around athletes, musicians and celebrities, as well as scripted and reality series, have made it one of the most subscribed-to video destinations for teens on YouTube.
DreamWorks will be obligated to make additional cash payments of up to US$117 million if certain earning targets are met in 2014 and 2015.
Of course, DreamWorks has already taken steps into the Internet TV space, having signed a deal with Netflix in February to launch the original series Turbo: F.A.S.T. (Fast Action Stunt Team) with the SVOD giant.