Otter Media, a joint venture between The Chernin Group and AT&T, has acquired Creativebug, a San Francisco-based provider of instructional videos with a bias towards arts and craft. The deal ran Otter about $10 million.
This is the first time AT&T and The Chernin Group have disclosed the name of their venture, to which they pledged $500 million in an announcement earlier this year. They are focused on over-the-top video services, an area populated by set-top boxes (Roku), subscription video-on-demand services (Netflix) and more traditional players like ESPN.
The duo that once bid for Hulu has targeted more incremental deals since aligning. Founded by Jeanne Lewis and Julie Roehm, Creativebug offers more than 300 classes that subscribers pay to take. This fits right in with Crunchyroll, another Otter Media property (courtesy of Chernin), and another subscription video service.
Chernin believes the future of TV rests in some kind of Internet-connected video service, and assets like Crunchyroll and Creativebug provide technology, and boast fan bases in niche areas (anime for Crunchyroll, arts and craft for Creativebug).
“Creativebug has inventively and successfully tapped into this powerful and engaged crafts audience who are passionate about making and creating,” Chernin Group EVP Sarah Harden said in a statement. “Online video is the perfect medium to connect leading artists to their audiences across the globe. And the team at Creativebug has built out a very strong leadership position in this category. We look forward to supporting their continued growth alongside our other offerings.”
Ursula Morgan will stay on as the CEO of Creativebug while Lewis is the chief creative officer. Roehm is the VP of operations and partnerships.