Movie Pilot has sold a majority stake of its business to Webedia, a French publishing group, for an undisclosed sum on Thursday.
The Los Angeles-based social publisher and video production company has built an audience of 30 million followers — including six million on Facebook — with an emphasis on entertainment news. Creators Media, Movie Pilot’s parent company, and Super News, Movie Pilot’s go-to spot for nerd culture, will also be included in the deal.
Movie Pilot and Super News will become part of Webedia’s global expansion into several aspects of entertainment, from video game development to scripted and unscripted video content. The acquisition comes with a cash infusion from Webedia to expand Movie Pilot’s and Super News’ live studio and production facilities, as well as its video and social content teams.
“Over the last year we have become more of a fan-centric, digital production studio for our partners. We’re able to bring a ton of experience with content production to the table, as well as the ability to distribute that content to our network of fans across social platforms,” said Creators Media co-founder Jon Handschin in a statement.
Webedia participated in Movie Pilot’s Series B financing round in Sept. 2015, investing $16 million and becoming the operation’s lead investor. Since then, Movie Pilot and Super News has partnered with several of the biggest players in Hollywood, including Netflix, Sony Home Entertainment, and Hulu, to create live shows and custom video content.
“We are very happy to continue and strengthen our partnership with Webedia – the same company that bought our German business back in 2014 and became our lead investor of the US business in 2015,” said Movie Pilot co-founder Tobi Bauckhage.
6 Tech Giants Shaking Up News, From Jeff Bezos to Laurene Powell Jobs (Photos)
Tech leaders are increasingly intertwined with the news business. While some want to support old properties, one set out to destroy a new one. Here they are.
Jeff Bezos – Washington Post
The Amazon founder purchased the Washington Post in 2013 for $250 million in cash. President Trump has called the paper the “Amazon Washington Post.”
The Facebook co-founder purchased The New Republic in 2012, becoming executive chairman and publisher. However, he sold the venerable political magazine to Win McCormack in 2016, saying he "underestimated the difficulty of transitioning an old and traditional institution into a digital media company in today’s quickly evolving climate."
The eBay founder is a well-known philanthropist who created First Look Media, a journalism venture behind The Intercept. Inspired by Edward Snowden's leaks. Omidyar teamed up with journalists Glenn Greenwald, Jeremy Scahill and Laura Poitras to launch the website “dedicated to the kind of reporting those disclosures required: fearless, adversarial journalism.”
The PayPal co-founder doesn’t own a news organization, but he makes this list because he essentially ended one -- Gawker -- proving once again the power of an angry billionaire. Thiel secretly bankrolled Hulk Hogan’s sex-tape lawsuit against Gawker Media because he was upset that the website once outed him as gay. Hogan won the defamation lawsuit against the site that sent its parent company into bankruptcy, and Gawker.com is no longer operating.
OK, so Facebook isn’t technically a news organization… yet. However, the company is preparing to launch its much-anticipated lineup of original content later this summer, and there are also signs that it's on the verge of becoming an even bigger media platform.
Campbell Brown, Head of News Partnerships at Facebook, confirmed last week it’s developing a subscription service for publishers willing to post articles directly to Facebook Instant Articles, rather than their native websites.