Viacom have officially confirmed they are to buy AwesomenessTV, a media company aimed at the “GenZ” market – those who were born into the tech revolution of the mid-1990s – for $25 million. AwesomenessTV, one of the first multi-channel networks “(MCNs) was acquired by DreamWorks Animation three years ago for about $120 million (and just recently valued at $650 million in 2016 when Verizon acquired a 24.5 percent share, only to find it being acquired again by Comcast as part of its $3.8 billion DreamWorks acquisition).
Awesomeness claims to have accumulated 6.4 million YouTube subscribers and another 158 million subscribers on its “Awesomeness Network” which encompasses other channels it doesn’t own. Now Viacom is acquiring Awesomeness, which will become part of Viacom Digital Studios (VDS) and a statement said it would “play an important role in Viacom’s robust and growing premium content production ecosystem, drive additional growth at VDS, and strengthen Viacom’s established digital and social relationships and dominance in youth culture”.
“Awesomeness has done an incredible job building their brand into a digital media powerhouse for today’s most sought-after and hard-to-reach youth audiences,” said Kelly Day, President of Viacom Digital Studios and former Chief Business Officer of Awesomeness. “The team brings strong digital expertise, deep connections with top talent and influencers, and a robust branded content studio and creative agency that will accelerate the growth and scale of Viacom Digital Studios.”
Viacom is no stranger to youth culture, albeit via some slightly ageing brand such as Nickelodeon for younger children and with young adults via MTV. Viacom hope that the addition of Awesomeness’ young teen fan base will further strengthen their demographic reach, while Awesomeness’ strong existing relationships with digital platforms, talent and influencers complements VDS’ existing efforts to reach these GenZ consumers on mobile, social and digital platforms.