Katzenberg’s DreamWorks Animation Studio have acquired AwesomenessTV, an Internet-based television network, geared towards the US teen market, for $35 million.
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/ By Stanley Green /
Internet-based TV has become one of the fastest moving developments in the world of media and entertainment. That’s the reason why Jeffrey Katzenberg opted to initially invest close to thirty-five million dollars to acquire the company in a deal which could eventually see the California-based animation mogul payout almost four times that amount, if AwesomenessTV reaches the profit targets set for it
Based entirely on Google ‘s YouTube platform, AwesomenessTV, currently boasts more than fourteen million subscribers, with current viewing totals approaching 800 million or more than 55, 000 channels.
DreamWorks Animation has already announced that they plan to create the own channel on the AwesomenessTV network, which is regarded as being among the fastest growing content channels on the Internet today.
According to Katzenberg CEO of the Glendale, California based DreamWorks entertainment group, the acquisition of the AwesomenessTV network marked a groundbreaking venture that is liable to bring incredible momentum to the company’s digital strategy over the coming years.
According to industry commentators tours, DreamWorks Animation is following in the footsteps of other prominent media companies that are using YouTube to feature material which has been found to be a cost-effective way of attracting a wider client base. Basically DreamWorks is making a sound investment that will allow them to instantly acquire the network’s subscribers, which is anticipated to grow considerably as the spread of Internet television, especially to a younger audience, continues.
One of the advantages of using the YouTube channel is its ability to provide the flexible platform, for DreamWorks’ to provoke short previews of the Studio’s full-length films which would entice a vast audience into the movie theatres.
With a deal expected to close within the coming weeks DreamWorks are due to pay $33 million up front and on condition that certain earnings targets are met, the final payout for the AwesomenessTV channel could reach as high as $117 million.
Brian Robbins founder and CEO of AwesomenessTV will be staying on at the channel with special responsibility (and interest) in promoting its development.
Among the productions that AwesomenessTV has become known for among its teenage audience is IMO, a teenage based talk show intended to be an equivalent of The View. Another popular online hit featured on the channel is Mindless Takeover, a behind the scenes program about a fictitious boy band of the same name.
The markets were not slow in showing their approval of the takeover, pushing DreamWorks Animation’s stock up around six percent on the deal announcement.
Jeffrey Katzenberg was born and raised in New York City beginning his career in the media industry as assistant to Barry Diller, then the Chairman of Paramount Pictures.
Diller obviously saw Katzenberg’ s potential, placing him in several key positions within the company despite his youth, until he was eventually given the difficult task of bringing some life into the Star Trek franchise, which Paramount owned. Katzenberg’s vision saw the release of Star Trek: The Motion Picture which became a major hit for the studio in 1979 with just twenty-nine years old.
In 1984, Michael Eisner, left his job as President of Paramount Pictures to become CEO at the Walt Disney Company. Eisner knew that Katzenberg just the man to take charge of Disney’s ailing motion picture division.
Katzenberg pet project was a founding of Touchstone Pictures, really was responsible for such icons of the eighties as Down and Out in Beverly Hills and Good Morning, Vietnam. However it was at Disney that Katzenberg began to develop his interests in animation being behind some of the studio’s greatest hits as Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and The Lion King.
In1994, Katzenberg left Disney to co-found DreamWorks SKG in partnership with Steven Spielberg and David Geffen, with Katzenberg given the role of being responsible for all of the studio’s animation operations where they enjoyed particular success with Shrek in 2001, and its follow-up Shrek 2 that was released in 2004.
In 2004, DreamWorks Animation parted company with the main DreamWorks operation, becoming a separate entity enjoying considerable growth and profitability since then.
(Photo credit Wikipedia)