AT&T, Chernin name $500M joint venture 'Otter Media,' make first purchase

The joint venture between AT&T (NYSE: T) and former top Fox executive Peter Chernin has an official name, Otter Media, as well as an initial investment, the video home-craft "how-to" platform Creativebug.

Otter Media will pay Demand Media $10 million for Creativebug, the Chernin Group says. The platform, which features more than 300 do-it-yourself video workshops, was co-founded by former Time Magazine art director Jeanne Lewis. It was purchased in March 2013 by Demand, a giant in the Google (NASDAQ: GOOG)-based era of content farming, which is now looking to shed assets and stay alive.

AT&T and the Chernin Group announced their joint venture in April, signaling their intention to spend $500 million acquiring and developing assets to build over-the-top services.

Chernin, whose media company is involved with a number of traditional media projects, such as the current theatrical blockbuster Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, also has significant investments in digital platforms, like YouTube network Fullscreen and subscription video on demand (SVOD) service Crunchyroll.

It's been speculated that whatever Chernin's Otter Media efforts ultimately deliver will be packaged with the content rights acquired by AT&T's proposed $49 billion acquisition of DirecTV (NASDAQ: DTV) to form an OTT and mobile-video powerhouse.

Of course, Creativebug represents only a tiny step along that speculative path. 

For more:
- read this Re/code story
- read this Variety story

Related links:
Report: Former Fox chief Chernin can make the AT&T-DirecTV merger work
AT&T's $500M OTT video venture with Chernin Group could center on mobile services
AT&T's Stephens: Project VIP could drive new OTT video opportunties, content arrangements

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