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Verizon Buys Stake in AwesomenessTV

6 Apr, 2016 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Verizon April 6 announced it is acquiring 24.5% of AwesomenessTV, the multiplatform media company majority owned (51%) by DreamWorks Animation. Hearst owns the remaining 24.5%. Upon completion of the deal, AwesomenessTV will be valued at approximately $650 million. Brian Robbins, AwesomenessTV founder and CEO, and Brett Bouttier, AwesomenessTV's president, will continue to lead the company.

In addition, Verizon, which recently launched go90, an ad-supported app delivering short-form video and related content to mobile devices, inked an agreement with AwesomenessTV to create and fund a premium short-form mobile video service. The platform will operate independently featuring transactional VOD content and will launch as part of go90.

AwesomenessTV previously created shows “Guidance” and “Top Five Live” for go90 targeting Gen. Z and millennials — the intended audience for Verizon’s mobile on-demand consumer.

“That's why we want to be in the AwesomenessTV business,” Marni Walden, EVP and president of product and new business innovation at Verizon, said in a statement.

The new service will initially be exclusive to Verizon platforms in the United States, while AwesomenessTV will retain the right to sell content in the rest of the world. In addition to the production resources, expertise and marketing know-how of the team at AwesomenessTV, the two companies said they would seek input from studios, production companies, writers, directors and actors for content creation. 

"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," Robbins said.

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