Media conglom takes minority stake in digital company, formed last year as merger of Alloy Digital and Break Media
Digital media company Defy Media has acquired Viacom’s gaming digital properties Addicting Games, GameTrailers and Shockwave, while in return Viacom has taken a minority equity stake in Defy.
Viacom and Defy, formed last year by the merger of Alloy Digital and Break Media, also entered into marketing and content syndication agreements to develop and distribute entertainment to their respective audiences.
Financial terms of the deal are not being disclosed. Approximately 20 Viacom employees will join Defy as part of the transaction; as a result, Defy Media will have a headcount about 250.
For Defy — whose properties include popular YouTube channel Smosh — the addition of Viacom’s game-oriented websites will expand its ability reach to reach its target demo of 13-34 consumers. Defy’s other game channels include The Escapist and Gamefront.
“These outstanding brands (from Viacom) represent meaningful and diverse revenue opportunities we aim to expand across our existing brand portfolio,” Defy Media CEO Matt Diamond said.
All told, Defy’s owned-and-operated reach now tops 155 million monthly unique viewers, who watch more than 400 million monthly videos, the company said. The brands have 40 million YouTube subscribers and 55 million followers on social media, and its video-viewing mobile apps have been downloaded more than 10 million times.
Privately held Defy Media is also backed by ZelnickMedia, Lionsgate and ABS Capital. A Viacom exec will join the Defy Media board. When Alloy Digital and Break Media announced their merger in October 2013, the companies said the combined entity will generate more than $100 million in annual revenue and will be profitable.
Viacom, which owns youth-skewing cable networks including Nickelodeon and MTV, expects to benefit from Defy’s digital reach. In addition, Viacom plans to develop content and marketing campaigns geared around Smosh and the company’s other digital talent and personalities.