Just over year after making YouTube programmer AwesomenessTV a programming partner ahead of the launch of its mobile video service, Go90, Verizon (NYSE: VZ) announced that it has purchased a 24.5 percent stake in the company.
The deal values AwsomenessTV at $650 million. DreamWorks Animation, which paid $33 million up front to Awesomeness founder Brian Robbins and his investment team back in 2013 to acquire the company, will retain a 51 percent share.
Verizon said that in addition to the equity investment, the company will enter into an agreement whereby AwesomenessTV provides it with a full-fledged mobile video programming service featuring original content.
This new service, Verizon said, will operate as an independent brand, offering premium transactional content with a quality "on par with the highest-end content seen on television today."
This new premium transactional service will be an offering on Verizon's ad-supported Go90 platform.
"In addition to delivering compelling scripted and non-scripted series with high production values, AwesomenessTV has demonstrated an ability to zero in on programming that Gen Z and millennials want to watch," said Marni Walden,executive VP and president of product and new business innovation for Verizon. "The content AwesomenessTV has produced for go90 has exceeded all our expectations with shows such as Guidance and Top Five Live. That's why we want to be in the AwesomenessTV business."
- read this Verizon press release
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