AT&T understandably has its hands full with its proposed $85 billion takeover of Time Warner, but it may already be plotting its next acquisition with the buyout of Otter Media.
The company is reportedly planning to buy all of Otter Media, its streaming video joint venture with the Chernin Group. Digiday’s unnamed sources said that deal will likely have to wait until after Time Warner closes—which could be a while—but that acquisition was always expected to happen at some point.
AT&T and Chernin began Otter Media in 2014 with a $500 million commitment to acquire over-the-top content and development services. Since that time, AT&T acquired DirecTV and launched its high-profile streaming TV service DirecTV Now.
While the Otter Media venture and its subsidiary Ellation haven’t produced anything as audacious as DirecTV Now, the company has had success, with its services reportedly amassing about 2 million paid subscribers overall.
Fullscreen, a multichannel service acquired by Otter Media in 2015, announced plans to shut down its streaming video on demand service and lay off 25 employees.
“Despite our momentum, we’ve made the difficult decision to shut down the Fullscreen SVOD service in January 2018. We came to the conclusion that funding SVOD — a longer-term investment — was limiting our ability to invest in our dynamic Creator, Brand, and Rooster Teeth divisions that have more established scale and immediate impact. I shared this news in person with the core SVOD team earlier today,” wrote Fullscreen founder and CEO George Strompolos in a memo.
But other services with the company appear to be thriving. VRV, a multichannel streaming hub, announced it now has 1.5 million registered users and more than 1 million monthly active users.
Earlier this year, anime service Crunchyroll announced that it had hit the 1 million subscriber mark.