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Verizon acquires 24.5% stake in AwesomenessTV

Verizon is banking on DreamWorks-owned AwesomenessTV─now valued at US$650 million─ to help deepen its reach within the Gen Z demographic.
April 6, 2016

As Verizon continues to beef up its mobile and video offerings, the US telco giant has acquired a minority stake in DreamWorks-owned AwesomenessTV, purchasing 24.5% of the Gen Z-friendly multi-channel network and media company.

This investment puts AwesomenessTV’s value at US$650 million. The share price paid by the telco has not been made public.

The injection of funds will see AwesomenessTV create a new transactional VOD service funded by Verizon that will feature short-form content created by─and starring─the network’s most popular digital influencers. The new service will operate within Verizon’s Go90 app. AwesomenessTV will still retain ownership of the content, as well as the rights to sell it to other distribution partners.

DreamWorks Animation, which acquired AwesomenessTV in 2013 for US$33 million, remains the majority stakeholder with a 51% ownership share. Hearst owns the remaining 24.5%.

No major changes to AwesomenessTV’s leadership team are expected to take place as a result of the deal.

AwesomenessTV and Verizon have been working together since last April, when the media company first signed a deal to provide Verizon with content for Go90. AwesomenessTV has since produced a number of series, including an unscripted one from reality stars Snooki and JWOWW and an upcoming show from beauty vlogger Kandee Johnson (pictured).

AwesomenessTV’s deep knowledge of  tween and teen viewing habits, as well as its associated brand partnerships, undoubtedly played a big part in Verizon’s interest in purchasing a stake in the company.

Less than a year ago, Verizon took ownership of AOL, representing a major step in its much-publicized bid to establish itself as a significant mobile video presence in the US market.

 

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