LONDON — Global production company FremantleMedia, whose shows include “Idols,” “Got Talent” and “The X Factor,” has increased its stake in Europe’s leading multi-channel network Divimove to 51% to make it the majority shareholder.
Divimove, which was founded in 2012 by Brian Ruhe, Philipp Bernecker and Sebastiaan van Dam, has grown rapidly to become the leading MCN in Europe with 900 million views per month. Its 1,700 partner channels have 80 million subscribers and include the top YouTubers in Spain (Elrubius, 9.8 million subscribers), Italy (FavijTV, 1.5 million subscribers) and the Netherlands (Enzo Knol, 550,000 subscribers).
FremantleMedia first took shares in the digital company in late 2013. The partnership has resulted in the launch of Shootrs, a talent program that combines the production expertise of FremantleMedia with Divimove’s content creators and online video expertise. Shootrs was launched with the FremantleMedia companies UFA in Germany and Blue Circle in the Netherlands last year, and will see the continued rollout across Europe this year.
Divimove also launched brandboost, set up to answer the demand for online video solutions from brands in Europe. Last year FremantleMedia and Divimove worked together to create branded entertainment campaigns across Europe for brands including Deutsche Bahn and Ubisoft.
This month, Divimove launched a talent management agency headed up by Michael Brycz, former managing director, Central Europe, for Warner Music; Brycz will look for opportunities for the MCN’s talent in new areas such as live events and music.
FremantleMedia has already made substantial investments in the digital space. They are YouTube’s biggest independent TV production partner, with 216 channels, more than 20 million subscribers and 9 billion annual video views. Its properties have more than 145 million fans on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube combined.
The deal also complements the digital ambitions of parent company RTL Group, which late last year acquired the world’s leading fashion and beauty MCN StyleHaul, and in 2013 the world’s third largest MCN, BroadbandTV.
Brian Ruhe, CEO of Divimove, commented: “For us, the development and support of talent is at the center of our business, and we’re delighted that we have found a partner who has the same values. Working with FremantleMedia has given us the opportunity to invest even more in our creators and develop new ways to grow their careers. We will continue to do so as we expand our relationship.”