The teen and tween-focused YouTube multi-channel network and multi-platform media company AwesomenessTV was acquired by DreamWorks for $33 million (in a deal that could reach a dollar value as high as $117 million if the network hits certain metrics within 24 months of signing) in May 2013. Now the entertainment entity is putting a chunk of that cash to use.
AwesomenessTV has acquired YouTube MCN Big Frame for $15 million in cash.
The deal gives AwesomenessTV the solid roster of established and burgeoning YouTube talent Big Frame has aggregated and cultivated since its launch by Sarah Penna and Steve Raymond in 2011. That includes early YouTube staples like MysteryGuitarMan, DeStorm, and WheezyWaiter, relatively new online video phenomenons like Tyler Oakley, and online-video-turned-rising-traditional-entertainment stars like Jimmy Tatro. In total, Awesomeness TV will add Big Frame’s more than 300 channels and 39 million total subscribers to its roster, which the network reports will beef up its global viewcount to nearly one billion views a month.
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“With AwesomenessTV committed to aggressive growth, the acquisition of Big Frame enables us to bring on expertise in talent development as well as a great group of YouTube stars,” said AwesomenessTV Chief Operating Officer, Brett Bouttier in the release.
“Sarah and Steve have a great track record for identifying and developing talent and we believe that working together we can build talent brands that will transcend YouTube,” added Awesomeness TV CEO and Co-Founder, Brian Robbins.
The deal is “subject to various closing conditions” and is expected to be completed sometime in April 2014. Big Frame had previously and publicly raised $3 million back in June 2012, but the company has taken on some amount of debt in the nearly two years since its first major round of funding. Aweseomeness TV will repay that debt in addition to the $15 million cash acquisition as part of the deal.
“We’re so grateful to have worked with online video’s greatest creators for many years,” said Big Frame Chief Creative Officer, Penna in the release. “And we’re excited about all the new opportunities this merger will bring them.”