By Sahil Patel
Otter Media, a venture backed by The Chernin Group and AT&T, has confirmed its acquisition of a majority stake in Fullscreen, one of the largest multi-channel networks in the YouTube ecosystem.
As part of the deal, Fullscreen founder and CEO George Strompolos will continue in his role and “maintain a material ownership stake in the company,” said Otter Media in the announcement. Fullscreen’s full management team will also stay on.
News of Otter Media’s pending deal with Fullscreen, which is said to value the company between $200 million and $300 million, was first reported in July.
“Our relationship with George started over three years ago when he launched Fullscreen in our offices. Since then, George and the Fullscreen team have achieved something remarkable — they have built one of the largest online content distribution networks, as well as created a leadership position in youth-oriented video programming,” said Peter Chernin, chairman and CEO of The Chernin Group, in a statement.
Founded in 2011, Fullscreen’s YouTube network is comprised of more than 50,000 creators, collectively reaching 450 million subscribers and generating 4 billion views per month. Top talent include The Fine Brothers, Grace Helbig, and O2L, Lohanthony, and Connor Franta.
Otter Media was formed by The Chernin Group and AT&T in April with a focus on investing in, acquiring, and launching over-the-top video services. Fullscreen, which is primarily known for its talent services and multi-channel network, has been working on a millennial-focused off-YouTube platform for quite some time now.
The deal is expected to close within the next month. WPP, which along with The Chernin Group is a Series A investor in Fullscreen, will remain a strategic shareholder in the company.
“Peter Chernin’s The Chernin Group (our first investor) brings unparalleled entertainment experience to Fullscreen, which is critical as our world continues to merge with the broader entertainment industry,” said Strompolos in a blog post about the deal. “AT&T is a worldwide leader in mobile, which is a key area of interest for us, and their TV footprint is poised to expand significantly. WPP will continue to serve as our valued partner in the world of advertising and marketing.”
Correction: This article has been updated to fix a typo. They’re the Fine Brothers, not the Fein Brothers. The Fine Brothers are the huge YouTube stars now repped by Fullscreen. Not sure who the Fein Brothers, but I’m sure they are wonderful people.