The change comes after German broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 last year acquired control of CDS and merged it with ProSieben’s Studio71 multichannel network. The combined online-video business was originally named Collective Studio71, but that just got confusing, according to CDS founder Reza Izad.
“The name change is the beginning of a pretty large cadence of things coming out this year,” Izad said.
Studio71 will continue to be jointly managed by a company board of five executives chaired by ProSieben’s Christof Wahl. Studio71 founders Sebastian Weil and Ronald Horstman will focus on their core market in Europe with offices in Berlin and Vienna as well as Studio71’s new office in London. CDS founders Michael Green and Reza Izad will remain responsible for the Americas and English-speaking territories.
The combined Studio71 group currently generates 3.5 billion views per month, up from 1.2 billion monthly a year ago, according to the company.
Studio71’s first global production will be the film “Natural Born Pranksters,” starring YouTube’s VitalyzdTV, Roman Atwood and Dennis Roady, to be released this spring by Lionsgate.
Additional upcoming projects include “Maximum Ride,” a movie based on the young-adult fantasy franchise from James Patterson, and a feature film starring Matthew Espinosa, an 18-year-old social-media star more than 16 million followers.
CDS also called out its branded-content work. Last year, it produced 500 campaigns for clients with influencers including Vine star Logan Paul, YouTube daily talk show Good Mythical Morning and Snapchat’s Shonduras. Those generated over 1 billion views for advertisers, according to the company.