Verizon Brings Exclusive Video Content To Go90 Via A Stake In AwesomenessTV
To bring new and exclusive video content to its Go90 mobile video streaming service, the biggest wireless carrier in the United States is planning to take an estimated 24.5 percent stake in AwesomenessTV, a video company owned by Dreamworks. Such a move will also result to Verizon Wireless and AwesomenessTV launch a short form mobile video service that carry its own, separate branding, and be rolled out as part of the Big Red’s Go90 feature. The wireless carrier has stated that it will be financing this service by way of a multi-year contract with AwesomenessTV, who in turn will supply the talent both in front and behind the cameras.
It was three years ago back in 2013 when Dreamworks completed its acquisition of AwesomenessTV, a YouTube network geared towards audiences belonging to the general teenager demographic, to the tune of $33 million. It was a move designed to allow Dreamworks to gain traction in the original content production arena. Back then, AwesomenessTV had 14 million subscribers and 800 million views across more than 50,000 channels. By the time Hearst invested in the network in 2014, it had ballooned to more than 114 million subscribers, and to date, now includes 90,000 producers of video content and more than 16 billion views, thanks to 170 million subscribers as of last count (increasing from about 143 million subscribers in fall of last year).
Even though Verizon Wireless has a stake in AwesomenessTV, Dreamworks remains the majority shareholder with more than 50 percent stake, with Hearst owning the rest (24.5 percent). With regards to leadership, Brian Robbins, the founder and chief executive officer of AwesomenessTV, and Brett Bouttier, the president, will stay on as the head honchos.
Prior to taking a stake in AwesomenessTV, Verizon Wireless actually already had a working relationship with the network. When the Big Red launched its Go90 feature, AwesomenessTV was one of the video content providers, delivering shows such as “Top Five Live” and “Guidance.” This time around, AwesomenessTV will now proceed to producing exclusive videos for the wireless carrier. Specifically, the video content will be made available only in the US through Verizon’s Go90 service, and a number of platforms where the Big Red may choose to distribute the videos. Still, AwesomenessTV holds all rights to resell the video content it produces elsewhere across the globe. The new content should debut on Go90 either before the end of this year, or by early 2017.