Fullscreen announced on January 15, 2014 it had acquired Supernova, the “social mobile creation, discovery, and sharing company” most notable for its once super popular and very promising mobile video app, Viddy. There are two reasons why the YouTube multi-channel network that can boast to more than 27 million unique U.S. YouTube viewers in December 2013 and claim over 15,000 channels would want to get its hands on the company.
For one, when you raise an eight-figure round of funding, you got to spend the cash. Fullscreen closed what was reported to be close to a $30 million investment round led by Comcast and The Chernin Group back in April 2013. Some of the money was allocated towards a new studio division (which is now going to fund at least a few projects conceived of by The Fine Bros.), some towards improving its toolset for creators, and some was put aside for acquisitions like this.
And for two, mobile isn’t really the future anymore. It’s the now. “More than 40 percent of Fullscreen’s total viewership comes from mobile devices, which is up from less than 10 percent just two years ago,” said Fullscreen CEO and Founder, George Strompolos in the release. “With the acquisition of Supernova, we are well-positioned to capitalize on this major shift in consumer behavior through rich mobile video content experiences.”
Fullscreen’s mobile viewership numbers are not an industry anomaly. YouTube itself reports mobile devices make up close to 40% of its global watch time and no one believes that percentage is going to decrease anytime soon. As more individuals consume their entertainment programming not positioned in front of a television and/or laptop or desktop computer, it makes a whole lot of sense to make a serious investment in a mobile strategy and a team that’s capable of its execution.
“Together with Fullscreen, we will create mobile video products that millions of users enjoy,” said Co-founder & CEO of Supernova, JJ Aguhob in the release. “We are thrilled to turn our attention toward serving and exciting the thousands of creators in Fullscreen’s global network.”
Those mobile products will take the form of who knows what, but will most likely involve some type of channel-specific or genre-specific video viewing capabilities, virtual storefronts, and custom, one-off feature sets for big name brands. But what’s more, is they’ll give Fullscreen an opportunity to generate more revenue, diversify its sources of income, and maybe even become a little less reliant on YouTube.