After one of YouTube’s largest Spanish-language comedy channels entered our spotlight last month, it is now the Frenchies’ turn. Canal Plus, one of France’s largest television companies, has acquired a majority stake in Studio Bagel, a popular Frencophone comedy channel on YouTube.
Studio Bagel, which claims 1.4 million subscribers on its main channel, feels like a French Above Average. Once funded in part by YouTube’s Original Channels program, Studio Bagel features sketches, web series, song parodies, and more, with much of the content coming from established French performers. One of the channel’s most popular videos (and one of the few featuring English subtitles) stars a trio of well-known French actors: Jean Dujardin, Marion Cotillard, and Guillaume Canet.
By purchasing a large stake in Studio Bagel, Canal Plus is ramping up the YouTube operation it initially launched in November. After launching 20 channels related to its content, it is now making a play at YouTube’s young demographic. “We are proud to accompany the development of Studio Bagel, one of the most creative start-ups in France. With Studio Bagel, Canal Plus Group is stepping up its already strong presence among millions of YouTube users,” said Canal Plus Group CEO Rodolphe Belmer. “This deal will also help us boost our well-known ability to detect and groom new talents.”
Canal Plus is also an investor in Maker Studios, having jumped in on the $26 million round the multi-channel network raised last September. The company’s willingness to spend millions on YouTube represents a forward thinking approach; here’s hoping it results in more Marion Cotillard bear videos.