AT&T has acquired The Chernin Group’s controlling interest in Otter Media, the joint venture between the two companies.
Otter Media, a subscription, advertising and content company, comprises of wholly-owned subsidiary Ellation, an online subscription video service provider, with offerings under the Crunchyroll and VRV brands, as well as a full-service digital media company, Fullscreen.
Otter also has ownership stakes in global content studio Gunpowder & Sky, as well as Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine.
The media company will be rolled into AT&T’s WarnerMedia unit and Tony Goncalves, who was appointed Otter CEO earlier this year, will continue to run the company and report to WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey.
“We are thrilled to incorporate the Otter Media brands and talent into WarnerMedia,” said John Stankey, WarnerMedia CEO. “Working with Tony, we look to harness Otter’s expertise in feeding the passion of online audiences to augment our portfolio of digital assets and help us further engage, connect and entertain consumers around the globe.”
AT&T and The Chernin Group founded Otter Media in 2014 to invest and develop platforms and properties that capitalized on the growth of direct-to-consumer subscription and advertising models, as well as the rise of new digital media brands.
“From the outset, Randall Stephenson and John Stankey championed the Otter strategy and vision, and AT&T has been an ideal partner in building the business — smart, creative and supportive,” said Peter Chernin, CEO at The Chernin Group.
“With AT&T’s direct-to-consumer relationships, vast data and varied content, I believe they can accelerate Otter’s growth. The combination with WarnerMedia will create a new-era media company, serving customers with every type of content delivered through every possible distribution channel.”
AT&T’s WarnerMedia unit was created after the close of the Time Warner acquisition in June 2018.