DreamWorks Animation (NASDAQ:
) is on the cusp of acquiring AwesomenessTV, a rising star in the
world of YouTube. Created by Brian Robbins (who served as
executive producer of several teen and tween hits, including One
Tree Hill, Smallville and What I Like About You), AwesomenessTV
was started with a
$5 million grant
from Google (NASDAQ:
), which quietly paid potential content creators to lure new
talent. The site amassed another $3.5 million in a Series A round
Since its debut in June 2012, AwesomenessTV has gained more
on Twitter, more than
on Facebook (NASDAQ:
more than 489,000 subscribers
on YouTube. One of its most popular videos is a Taylor Swift
parody that has garnered more than three million views.
, AwesomenessTV has attracted the attention of DreamWorks, which
intends to buy the company this year for an unknown sum.
If true, this acquisition would give DreamWorks control of a
growing YouTube property and provide the company with an
interesting bargaining chip to sweeten its deal with Netflix
More than 18 months ago DreamWorks announced that it would
drop HBO for a
with Netflix. At the time, analysts estimated that DreamWorks
$30 million per picture
-- $10 million more than it reportedly received from HBO.
That deal only applied to DreamWorks' movies, but the studio
has since created a new animated series for Netflix, Turbo
F.A.S.T., that will debut this fall. The series is based on
DreamWorks' next animated film, Turbo, which will also appear on
Netflix long after its theatrical debut.
By acquiring AwesomenessTV, DreamWorks could offer Netflix a
promising replacement to Nickelodeon -- if and when the network
decides to pack up and leave.
) CEO Philippe Dauman has
reports that Nickelodeon's ratings
have been hurt
by the network's deal with Netflix. Regardless, rumors continue
to suggest that Netflix will
if it fails to reach a new agreement with Viacom.
If Netflix is able to retain Nickelodeon, AwesomenessTV could
serve as another way to lure and retain the teen and tween
market, which could be critical to Netflix's near-term
Without the appropriate adult content, however, it could be
difficult for Netflix to retain those subscribers after they
As it stands, Netflix is positioning itself to attract viewers
under the age of 18. Between the Disney (NYSE:
) and DreamWorks deals, the potential for AwesomenessTV (through
DreamWorks), and the existing slate of Nickelodeon and Cartoon
Network content, Netflix is slowly becoming the number-one venue
for family-friendly entertainment.
Aside from original series like House of Cards, however,
Netflix has yet to secure any major (exclusive) deals for
appealing adult-oriented content.
Louis Bedigian is the Senior Tech Analyst and Features Writer
of Benzinga. You can reach him at 248-636-1322 or
louis(at)benzingapro(dot)com. Follow him
(c) 2013 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
advice. All rights reserved.
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