DreamWorks Animation’s AwesomenessTV will cross over from YouTube to cable TV on July 1, when kid’s cabler Nickelodeon will premiere half-hour comedy show woven from existing Internet clips and new material.
Nick describes show as a “rapid-fire sketch comedy series” that will blend new and existing AwesomenessTV content. Skein is hosted by Daniella Monet (of Nick’s “Victorious”) with segments that include character sketches, celebrity satires and parody music videos. AwesomenessTV also is holding a contest to feature one user’s comedy video on the show.
Nick was among first TV nets to mine YouTube content, cutting pact with Lucas Cruikshank (“Fred”) for multiple projects. Other YouTube stars that have made boob-tube leap include Annoying Orange, which has Cartoon Network show, and Ray William Johnson, which has script deal with FX.
For AwesomenessTV, YouTube will continue to be the “first window” of distribution, with TV deals like the one with Nick and feature films serving as secondary windows, according to CEO Brian Robbins. AwesomenessTV has garnered more than 1 billion views on YouTube since launching in May 2012.
“The long-term goal is to build audience and own eyeballs over time,” he said. On YouTube, “it might take a little time for ad revenue to catch up. But an eyeball is an eyeball is an eyeball — no matter where it is, on TV or online.”
DreamWorks Animation acquired AwesomenessTV last month for $33 million but pact could be worth as much as $117 million if AwesomenessTV hits certain performance targets.
By 2015, DWA expects to generate about $200 million in “steady state” revenue from TV biz unit but that forecast doesn’t include upside from AwesomenessTV distrib deals, topper Jeffrey Katzenberg told investors last week.