Equity stake will see the creation of a new service featuring short-form content for mobile devices.
Verizon will acquire approximately a 24.5 percent stake in DreamWorks Animation’s AwesomenessTV.
DreamWorks Animation, which acquired AwesomenessTV in 2013, will remain the company’s majority stakeholder with approximately a 51 percent ownership of outstanding shares. Hearst, which invested in the company in 2014, will own the remaining 24.5 percent. Brian Robbins, founder and chief executive officer of AwesomenessTV, and Brett Bouttier, president of AwesomenessTV, will continue in their respective roles.
The parties currently expect the transaction to complete within the next 60 days.
As part of Verizon’s equity investment, the company will partner with AwesomenessTV to create a first-of-its-kind, short-form mobile video service featuring talent in front of and behind the camera. The new mobile video service will operate as a new brand and will feature content for a variety of audiences. The content service will initially launch as part of Verizon’s go90 offering and will be exclusive to Verizon platforms in the U.S. However, AwesomenessTV will retain the right to sell content to the rest of the world.
“This deal gives us the resources to work with the biggest talent in front of and behind the camera to create this new branded service and produce the most premium short-form content ever, made specifically for the device racking up the fastest growing viewership–the mobile phone,” says Robbins. “With Verizon joining DreamWorks Animation and Hearst as part of our equity ownership group, we benefit from the strategic insight and resources of the entertainment and communications industries’ most visionary companies and leaders. Our goal is to be the media company of the future, where content and distribution go hand in hand–we are now one giant step closer to that future.”