By Sahil Patel
Verizon has inked a deal with the teen-focused online video network to launch two over-the-top channels later this year. The first one, called AwesomenessTV, will target teens and young millennials with scripted and unscripted series. The second, the family-oriented DreamWorksTV, will feature original live-action and animated short-form content as well as some of DreamWorks Animation’s most recognizable characters. In total, the deal calls for more than 200 hours of original content to be produced by AwesomenessTV every year for multiple years.
The Verizon-distributed channels will only be available in the US as part of the telco’s upcoming mobile video pay-TV service.
“It’s increasingly clear that ‘mobile first’ is the way millennials are consuming all types of content, especially HD video and music,” said Terry Denson, vice president of content acquisition and strategy at Verizon, in a statement. “At Verizon, we’re committed to working with only the best and most innovative content providers, like AwesomenessTV, and driving opportunities as new content models emerge and customers experience the most in-demand and popular video in entirely new ways.”
AwesomenessTV is a subsidiary of DreamWorks Animation, which recently sold a minority stake in the online network to Hearst Corporation. At the time of the deal, the companies said AwesomenessTV, like other networks in the YouTube ecosystem, was pursuing an over-the-top play.
On YouTube, AwesomenessTV reaches more than 112 million subscribers across its network of channels.
Verizon, for its part, has previously expressed interest in working with AwesomenessTV as part of its upcoming mobile video/internet-TV plans. Last year, Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam said his company was building a mobile-first pay-TV service, which would offer a bundle of channels from traditional media partners like Viacom (which it has a carriage deal with) and digital content networks like AwesomenessTV.
Verizon’s service is expected to launch sometime in 2015.