Hearst Corp. said it will pay $81.25 million to DreamWorks Animation to acquire a 25 percent stake in teen-targeted YouTube multichannel network AwesomenessTV.
The deal gives DreamWorks Animation, which paid $33 million in 2013 to Awesomeness founder Brian Robbins and investors to acquire the network, a valuable partner with ties into myriad distribution platforms, as it seeks to grow AwesomenessTV.
The network currently touts a subscriber base of 114 million users.
For its part, Hearst owns stakes in cable networks including ESPN, Lifetime and History, and it owns magazines including Cosmopolitan and Good Housekeeping, as well as newspapers including the San Francisco Chronicle.
In its statement Thursday, Hearst said AwesomenessTV will have immediate access to its subscription video on demand technology.
"This is an extremely exciting partnership for AwesomenessTV and DreamWorks as we continue to implement our long-term strategy to maximize the value of our content and properties through multiple distribution platforms," said Jeffrey Katzenberg, DreamWorks Animation CEO, in a statement. "We're delighted with the opportunity to partner with Hearst, in part because it has outstanding global brands, a very valuable international presence and industry-leading technology, and also because of its demonstrated track record of successfully partnering with media companies and supporting their growth trajectories."
"Few companies have built the global audience of millennial females as quickly as AwesomenessTV," added Steven R. Swartz, president and CEO of Hearst Corporation. "For us, it's very important to make a bet on the future of how content is created. Together, in partnership with DreamWorks, we see great opportunity in supporting the consumer media franchise that AwesomenessTV continues to build."
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