DreamWorks Animation has agreed to pay up to US$117 million for AwesomenessTV, a YouTube channel operator.
AwesomenessTV comprises about 55,000 YouTube channels aimed at teens with about 14 million subscribers and 800 million video views.
The deal will cost Jeffrey Katzenberg’s DreamWorks an initial US$33 million, with further payments based on performance due in 2014 and 2015 that will take the total cost to US$117 million.
Awesomeness founder and CEO Brian Robbins will remain with the company and work on developing a DreamWorks Animation-branded digital family channel.
DreamWorks, which acquired Classic Media last year, expects the deal to close this month.
“Awesomeness TV is one of the fastest growing content channels on the internet today and our acquisition of this groundbreaking venture will bring incredible momentum to our digital strategy,” said DreamWorks Animation’s CEO Katzenberg.
“Brian Robbins has an extraordinary track record in creating family content both for traditional and new platforms and his expertise in the TV arena will be invaluable as we grow our presence in that space.”
“The acquisition of AwesomenessTV by DreamWorks Animation speaks to Jeffrey’s vision for the future of entertainment, the immense appetite for new kinds of storytelling and the power and reach of YouTube,” added Brian Robbins.
Robert Kyncl, YouTube’s global head of content, called the deal “symbolic of the incredible evolution of online entertainment”.
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