Otter Media, the venture between The Chernin Group and AT&T, is acquiring a majority stake in global youth media company Fullscreen in a move designed to enhance Fullscreen’s industry-leading position in youth media.
As part of the deal, Fullscreen CEO and Founder George Strompolos will continue as CEO and maintain a material ownership stake in the company. Otter Media was established by AT&T and The Chernin Group to invest in, acquire and launch over-the-top (OTT) video services.
Fullscreen, founded in January 2011, works with more than 50,000 content creators who engage 450 million subscribers and generate 4 billion monthly views. Through its relationship with YouTube, Fullscreen is a pioneering force in the global content creator revolution and has been consistently ranked as a leading YouTube partner network.
“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 Chernin, chairman and CEO of The Chernin Group. “We’re thrilled to be working with him and his management team in this next chapter for the company. Fullscreen’s support for content creators, its relationship with YouTube and its passion for delivering entertainment to youth audiences around the world are extremely appealing to us.”
“This is a huge win for Fullscreen and our creators,” said Strompolos. “Peter Chernin, Jesse Jacobs and the entire team at The Chernin Group have supported our vision since day one. With AT&T as a strategic investor in Otter Media, we are well positioned to redefine youth media in today’s digital-first world. We could not ask for a better opportunity.”
“We are excited to have Fullscreen as an integral part of Otter Media, as this supports our focus on youth-based content,” said Aaron Slator, President, Content Development, AT&T.
Fullscreen’s management team will all continue in their roles in the company.
The transaction is expected to close within the next month, subject to regulatory approval. WPP, which had invested in Fullscreen in a round of Series A funding led by The Chernin Group in 2013, will continue as a strategic shareholder in the company.