Verizon's mobile video streaming service go90 just got a bit more awesome, quite literally, as the firm announced that it would be buying a 24.5 percent stake in Dreamworks-owned video company AwesomenessTV (ATV), which gained worldwide fame by providing content geared towards teens and tweens.
The stake in ATV would enable Verizon to significantly improve its go90 service. According to the telecoms giant, the deal would be a multi-year agreement that involves AwesomenessTV providing talent both in front of and behind the camera, creating exclusive content for Verizon's go90 customers.
With the purchase of the stake, Verizon would be beside Hearst, which also has a 24.5 stake in ATV and Dreamworks, which has the majority share at 51 percent. Despite the added presence of Verizon, however, there would be no changes in ATV's management.
Thus, AwesomenessTV founder and CEO Brian Robbins and President Brett Bouttier would still continue to lead the popular video firm. Speaking about the deal, the ATV CEO expressed his optimism about Verizon's involvement.
"The agreement will enable his operation to produce the most premium short-form content ever, made specifically for the device racking up the fastest growing viewership, the mobile phone," he said.
Instead of AwesomenessTV's usual target demographic of 13 to 21-year-olds, however, ATV's content that would be streamed through Verizon's go90 platform would be geared towards a more mature audience. Robbins stated that the upcoming content for the telecoms giant would target 18 to 34-year-olds.
AwesomenessTV made its mark in the video world after gaining a significant number of followers online. When the company was acquired by Dreamworks back in 2013 for $33 million, the network boasted 14 million subscribers and 800 million views across 55,000 channels.
By the time Hearst acquired a 24.5 percent stake in the company in the following year, the firm's user base had expanded to 114 million subscribers. Currently, AwesomenessTV has about 170 million subscribers across 90,000 channels, with more than 16 billion total accumulated views.
Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO of DreamWorks Animation, is also optimistic about the Verizon deal.
"This agreement is clearly impactful for AwesomenessTV, with annual revenues expected to more than double in the first 12 months of content delivery, and even more exciting is the expansion of our relationship with Verizon, one of the world's most powerful marketers and content distributors, and their commitment to explore with us this incredible opportunity," he said.