Fullscreen, the massive Otter Media-owned multichannel network, announced it will launch an SVOD (subscription video on demand) service in the next few months. The MCN did not give any further details, like pricing, but its new direction further illustrates a trend by larger YouTube channel networks to springboard off of the Google (NASDAQ: GOOG)-owned online video service and control its own future.
"Just as premium cable networks raised the bar for television over the past decade, we aim to do the same with a new generation of creators, stars and personalities. And we're going to do it our way," said George Strompolous, founder and CEO of Fullscreen, in a blog post on the MCN's website.
Content for the premium service will be targeted toward audiences "who grew up online and live on their mobile devices," Strompolous said. Fullscreen will work with both established and emerging talent and will experiment with several different content formats, in an effort to "bridge the gap between social media and television for youth audiences."
Fullscreen was purchased by Otter Media, an AT&T and The Chernin Group joint venture, for an estimated $200 to 300 million last September. Variety noted that Otter also is developing a separate SVOD business, Ellation, that won't be connected to Fullscreen's premium service.
And Fullscreen itself acquired small but established YouTube channel RoosterTeeth in November, adding its content, targeted toward younger males age 18-36, to its roster.
Moving away from the YouTube channel format is seen as the next step for larger MCNs. MiTu, the largest Hispanic-focused MCN, is expanding its platform to other verticals and redefining itself as a digital entertainment media company, for example. The reason, CFO Charlie Echeverry said, is not because YouTube is a problem, but rather because MiTu wants to "capture data on those audiences, and be able to build a better suite of insights that we can share with brands and advertisers and other companies that might want to partner with us."
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Updated Oct. 6 to clarify MiTu information.