Deal by DreamWorks Animation unit follows Disney acquisition of Maker Studios
Deal continues trend of consolidation in the MCN sector, which included DWA’s acquisition last year of AwesomenessTV for $33 million (with an additional $84 million in earn-out fees).
Last week, in the biggest shakeup of the MCN biz to date, Disney announced the $500 million-plus acquisition of Maker Studios. In 2013, Maker had acquired online-video distributor Blip.
L.A.-based Big Frame, founded in 2011 by Sarah Penna and Steve Raymond, has more than 300 creator-run YouTube channels, which have more than 39 million subscribers and 3.6 billion views to date. Together, AwesomenessTV and Big Frame will deliver 80 million subscribers and nearly 1 billion views a month.
AwesomenessTV said Big Frame will bring it expertise in talent development as well as top YouTube stars.
“Sarah and Steve have a great track record for identifying and developing talent and we believe that working together we can build talent brands that will transcend YouTube,” AwesomenessTV CEO and co-founder Brian Robbins said in announcing the deal.
Added Raymond, Big Frame’s CEO: “We believe that Big Frame’s unique ability to build online communities combined with the Awesomeness team’s ability to create premium content and tell great stories will be a winning formula for the next stage of the entertainment industry’s evolution.”
AwesomenessTV said the deal, subject to various closing conditions, is expected to be completed later this month.
Big Frame had raised about $3.4 million in funding from investors including Anthem Venture Partners, DFJ Frontier, Pritzker Group Venture Capital, Richmond Park Partners, Lowercase Capital, Launchpad LA and Social Starts.
Big Frame was part of YouTube’s Original Channels initiative in the fall 2011, launching its first funded channel, Bammo, in April 2012 and the second, Polished, in 2013.