Content deal gives studio access to one of YouTube's most prominent figures
Lionsgate is partnering with YouTube phenomenon Freddie Wong on a new multi-year film, television and digital content alliance, the studio announced on Monday.
Under the pact, Wong's company, RocketJump Studios will get access to Lionsgate's marketing and distribution heft, while the studio will be able to tap into the YouTube videos and filmmaking talent.
In Wong and RocketJump, Lionsgate gain entree to 6.8 million subscribers and nearly a billion views across all platforms. Wong's success at building a brand on these emerging platforms and the popularity of his web series, “Video Game High School,” has not gone unnoticed by major studios, but so far he has largely resisted Hollywood's entreaties, preferring to go it alone and retain more creative control. Instead he's often turned to crowd-funding sites like Indiegogo to bankroll his work.
“This partnership unites two entrepreneurial companies with similar cultures and a shared commitment to build new models for creating and delivering content to the next generation of audiences,” said Lionsgate Chief Executive Officer Jon Feltheimer in a statement. “Freddie Wong is one of digital media's most prolific and visionary creators, and RocketJump is a bold and innovative platform that expands the breadth and diversity of content we bring to our audiences and extends our storytelling abilities in exciting new directions.”
“Lionsgate stood out as the one studio that really gets our brand and will give us the freedom to flourish as digital content creators and distributors,” Wong said in a statement. “It's rare to find a corporate partner who encourages true creativity, but our meetings with Lionsgate's creative team convinced us that this is the right move for RocketJump and our millions of fans.”
Lionsgate's digital portfolio includes a stake in the Defy Media online platform, the BeFit branded fitness channel on YouTube and Netflix series “Orange is the New Black.”