New York City-based Viacom has acquired digital media company Awesomeness to bolster its new Viacom Digital Studios portfolio.
Awesomeness was co-founded by Brian Robbins (president of Paramount Players at Viacom) and Joe Davola. It was previously owned by Comcast/NBCUniversal, Hearst and Verizon. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed, though CEO Jordan Levin (pictured) will be leaving after the acquisition is complete following a transition period.
Awesomeness has continued to produce content, recently getting a straight-to-series deal with Hulu and online self-publishing platform Wattpad for the supernatural thriller Light as a Feather.
With 158 million subscribers across its content, the newly acquired brand focuses on digital-first original programming for Gen Z audiences. Awesomeness will play a large role in Viacom’s ongoing digital transformation, which launched in late 2017.
Its first-ever digital slate was announced at the Viacom NewFront presentation in New York featuring JoJo Siwa’s The JoJo & BowBow Show, the Jace Norman-fronted Nick Trip, the eSports series Super League Gaming Minecraft City Champs and a show centered around Nick’s first multi-player virtual reality experience, SlimeZone VR Showdown.
Since its launch, Viacom Digital Studios has generated more than 4.3 billion social video views and 4.7 billion minutes viewed in the US in Q2 2018—up 112% and 104% respectively. Its YouTube subscribers have nearly doubled in the past year and digital streams have tripled in the past two years.