Otter Media, the Newly Named Venture Between The Chernin Group and AT&T, Acquires Creativebug, Inc.
DALLAS and LOS ANGELES, July 14, 2014 – Otter Media, the newly-named venture between AT&T and The Chernin Group, has acquired Creativebug, Inc., one of the leading go-to sources for high-quality online video arts and crafts instruction, from Demand Media.
Otter Media is focused on acquiring, investing in and launching over-the-top (OTT) video services, positioning the alliance to take advantage of the rapid growth of OTT subscription video services.
Founders Jeanne Lewis and Julie Roehm launched Creativebug in 2012. Based in San Francisco, it offers do-it-yourself video workshops featuring instruction from top artists and designers in the craft world. With such designers as Amy Butler, the well-known author recognized for her sophisticated yet relaxed modern approach to printed fabrics and products for home, fashion and craft, Creativebug taps into the large and growing crafting and DIY audiences in the U.S. and abroad. In the U.S. alone, the craft market is a $29 billion dollar industry1.
Creativebug boasts a global audience of subscribers who have unlimited access to its premium classes to learn the art of sewing, knitting, jewelry-making, printmaking and more. It features more than 300 online classes, with new classes added each week.
“Creativebug has inventively and successfully tapped into this powerful and engaged crafts audience who are passionate about making and creating,” said Sarah Harden, Executive Vice President at the Chernin Group. “Online video is the perfect medium to connect leading artists to their audiences across the globe. And the team at Creativebug has built out a very strong leadership position in this category. We look forward to supporting their continued growth alongside our other offerings.”
“With Creativebug, Jeanne and Julie have built and nurtured a place for arts and crafts enthusiasts of all skill sets and levels to learn and connect,” said Ursula Morgan, CEO, Creativebug. “We are excited about reaching further into this community, thanks to the amplified resources of this new relationship, and to continue to extend our premium video class offerings.”
Creativebug’s existing team, led by newly-named CEO Ursula Morgan; Chief Creative Officer and Co-Founder Jeanne Lewis; VP, Operations & Partnerships and Co-Founder Julie Roehm; and VP, Editorial and Co-Founder Kelly Wilkinson will continue with the company.
The deal builds upon Otter Media’s existing portfolio of OTT video services, including its majority stake in Crunchyroll, a leading subscription and ad-supported video service. Crunchyroll is a global destination and platform for Japanese anime and Asian content. It delivers more than 25,000 episodes and 15,000 hours of officially-licensed content from leading Asian media producers directly to viewers within minutes of TV broadcast.
1 Craft & Hobby Association, CHA Attitude & Usage Study Update, June 2011
About Otter Media
AT&T and The Chernin Group formed Otter Media in April 2014 to acquire, invest in and launch global over-the-top (OTT) video services. With more than $500 million in funding committed to the venture, the alliance positions both companies to take advantage of the rapid growth of online video and OTT video services, with each party bringing significant and complementary strengths. One of the strategic focuses of the venture is to invest in and build advertising and OTT video services for targeted audiences.
AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is a premier communications holding company and one of the most honored companies in the world. Its subsidiaries and affiliates – AT&T operating companies – are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and internationally. With a powerful array of network resources that includes the nation’s most reliable 4G LTE network, AT&T is a leading provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high speed Internet, voice and cloud-based services. A leader in mobile Internet, AT&T also offers the best global wireless coverage based on offering roaming in more countries than any other U.S. based carrier, and offers the most wireless phones that work in the most countries. It also offers advanced TV service with the AT&T U-verse® brand. The company’s suite of IP-based business communications services is one of the most advanced in the world.
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About The Chernin Group
The Chernin Group, LLC (TCG) is a privately held, independent media holding company founded by Peter Chernin and based in Los Angeles, CA. TCG has built, managed, operated and invested in businesses in the media, entertainment and technology sectors around the world since 2010. TCG's assets include Chernin Entertainment, which produces feature films and television programs; a majority stake in Hong Kong-based CA Media, which builds, manages and operates media, entertainment and technology businesses across Asia; and strategic investments in digital media companies including Fullscreen, Crunchyroll, Pandora, SoundCloud, Flipboard, Scopely, MiTú, Base79, Medium, and Tumblr (sold to Yahoo!). Providence Equity Partners LLC; Qatar Holding LLC; Victor Koo (founder and CEO of Youku) and Chengwei Capital; and other shareholders are strategic partners of and investors in TCG.