Hearst buys 25% stake in Awesomeness

Hearst Corporation has acquired a 25% stake in DreamWorks Animations’ multi-channel network Awesomeness TV for $81.25m.

DreamWorks and Hearst will work together to push Awesomeness into new content channels, broaden its audience and expand its geographic reach. The deal also enables Awesomeness to gain access to Hearst’s SVOD technology.

Awesomeness founder Brian Robbins and president Brett Bouttier will continue to head the company.

Hearst either owns or has stakes in old media cable networks Lifetime, A&E, History and ESPN, as well as hundreds of magazines and newspapers.

DreamWorks acquired Awesomeness for $33m in May 2013, a steal at the time, and a deal that marked one of the first acquisitions of an MCN by a major Hollywood studio. Disney acquired Maker Studios the following year for $500m.

Awesomeness has nearly 800 million monthly views and a subscriber base of 114 million. Its top YouTube stars include Cimorelli, Miss Glamorazzi, Tyler Oakley, Cameron Dallas and Nash Grier.

“Few companies have built the global audience of millennial females as quickly as Awesomeness TV. For us, it’s very important to make a bet on the future of how content is created. Together, in partnership with DreamWorks, we see great opportunity in supporting the consumer media franchise that Awesomeness TV continues to build,” said Hearst Corp CEO Steven R. Swartz.

“This is an extremely exciting partnership for Awesomeness TV and DreamWorks as we continue to implement our long-term strategy to maximize the value of our content and properties through multiple distribution platforms,” said DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg.