I think this is the beginning of a massive M&A wave in the YouTube ecosystem
So says Mark Terbeek, AwesomenessTV’s lead investor and Board Director. He should know, he just steered AwesomenessTV’s acquisition by DreamWorks for $33M. This marks the first premium YouTube channel to be acquired by a major studio. This is yet another example of the maturing of YouTube.
This and smaller acquisitions legitimize Google’s long-term bet on YouTube as the search giant is finally seeing some payoff for the video site after years of losses. While Google doesn’t see any of the acquisition money, it shows that studios are taking online video more seriously as a money generator. This, in turn, will lead to studios bringing more content to Youtube and improving Google’s ad revenue. Google has waited a long time for it’s bet on online video to pay off, but the time has come as Hollywood is finally embracing this “lesser” form of distribution.
AwesomenessTV is a prime example of YouTube moving “upmarket” into more mainstream content and form. The premium channel features original programming aimed at the teen market and has positioned itself as a Nickelodeon-killer. This placed it squarely into DreamWorks’ sights as they and other studios are beginning to move “downmarket” into online video content and see YouTube as a new channel for audience generation and testing. This acquisition shows that now is the time when YouTube channels and studios are meeting in the middle and solving each other’s problems. That said, expect to see more channels scooped up by the suits from Sunset Blvd, and get ready for a more polished YouTube experience.