Verizon communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) acquired 24.5% stake in digital entertainment network AwesomenessTV from DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. and plans to start a offer mobile video service in a subscription-basis.
Verizon is shifting from partner to stakeholder in AwesomenessTV. Verizon has expanded its entertainment sector to attract more audience and draw advertisers. The giant Mobile-phone company tried to aim at teens and millennials groups with go90 free mobile-video service with content.
In the management team, the original AwesomenessTV founder and CEO Brian Robbins and AwesomenessTV President Brett Bouttier will continue to manage the company.
“We wanted to capitalize on these emerging trends even further and start to take ownership in the digital space,” said Brian Angiolet, senior vice president of consumer product and marketing for Verizon. “We look at it almost like the early days of cable. Brands are emerging and we’re looking to have more of a network or a portfolio so we can participate more fully in the economics of that trend.”
Four years ago when AwesomenessTV started, 40% of viewership was on mobile; today, it’s more than 80% and the trend is going upward.
“So to have Verizon, the biggest phone company in the world, as one of our partners, just makes a whole lot of sense from a distribution standpoint,” Robbins said. “We are really trying to build the media company of the future.”
“The creation of this new branded service represents a transformational step, not just for AwesomenessTV, but also for the entire mobile video landscape,” said Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO of DreamWorks Animation.