The Chernin Group and AT&T’s Otter Media to Acquire Majority Stake in Fullscreen
LOS ANGELES and DALLAS, September 22, 2014 – Otter Media, a venture between The Chernin Group and AT&T*, today agreed to purchase a majority stake in Fullscreen, a global online media company.
As part of the deal, Fullscreen CEO and Founder George Strompolos will continue as CEO and maintain a material ownership stake in the company. Otter Media was established by AT&T and The Chernin Group to invest in, acquire and launch over-the-top (OTT) video services.
Fullscreen, founded in January 2011, works with more than 50,000 content creators who engage 450 million subscribers and generate 4 billion monthly views. Through its relationship with YouTube, Fullscreen is a pioneering force in the global content creator revolution and has been consistently ranked as a leading YouTube partner network.
“Our relationship with George started over three years ago when he launched Fullscreen in our offices. Since then, George and the Fullscreen team have achieved something remarkable – they have built one of the largest online content distribution networks, as well as created a leadership position in youth-oriented video programming,” said Peter Chernin, chairman and CEO of The Chernin Group. “We’re thrilled to be working with him and his management team in this next chapter for the company. Fullscreen’s support for content creators, its relationship with YouTube and its passion for delivering entertainment to youth audiences around the world are extremely appealing to us.”
“This is a huge win for Fullscreen and our creators,” said Strompolos. “Peter Chernin, Jesse Jacobs and the entire team at The Chernin Group have supported our vision since day one. With AT&T as a strategic investor in Otter Media, we are well positioned to redefine youth media in today’s digital-first world. We could not ask for a better opportunity.”
“We are excited to have Fullscreen as an integral part of Otter Media, as this supports our focus on youth-based content,” said Aaron Slator, President, Content Development, AT&T.
Fullscreen’s management team will all continue in their roles in the company.
With more than 200 employees worldwide, Fullscreen is dedicated to empowering the next generation of independent creators wherever they are and on any platform. The company’s robust talent roster includes such stars as the Fine Bros., Connor Franta, O2L, Andrea Russett, Lohanthony, Devin Supertramp and Jack and Jack. They are leading voices in today’s youth culture, complemented by thousands of other Fullscreen creator partners. Fullscreen’s data-driven technology and full suite of creative and monetization services enable creators to become brands and help brands act like creators.
The transaction is expected to close within the next month, subject to regulatory approval. WPP, which had invested in Fullscreen in a round of Series A funding led by The Chernin Group in 2013, will continue as a strategic shareholder in the company.
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 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.
Otter Media’s portfolio includes a majority stake in Crunchyroll, a leading global subscription and ad-supported video platform for Japanese anime and Korean content, and Creativebug, one of the top go-to sources for high-quality online video arts and crafts instruction.
Fullscreen is a global youth media company that develops online creators and programs multi-platform entertainment experiences. 450 million subscribers generate more than 4 billion video views across Fullscreen’s global network each month. Headquartered in Los Angeles, the company was founded in January 2011 by CEO George Strompolos, a co-creator of the original YouTube Partner Program. Fullscreen’s network includes more than 50,000 creators, including the Fine Bros., Connor Franta, O2L, Andrea Russett, Lohanthony, Devin Supertramp and Jack and Jack. Please visit Fullscreen.com for additional information.
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, Pandora, SoundCloud, Flipboard, Scopely, MiTú, and Medium. 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.