This was expected, and needed, as evidenced by last week’s announcement that the online video service that targets gamers (read: teenaged boys and young men) axed about 30% of its workforce. But it’s interesting to see how much today’s release plays up the potential partnerships between Machinima and Warner Bros. Machinima CEO Allen DeBevoise says that there are “myriad opportunities” to connect their audiences. And Warner Bros Television Group President of Business and Strategy Craig Hunegs says he’s “excited” about the ability “to reach new audiences, create new original content, and discover new talent.” Don’t be surprised if they look for projects outside of Google’s YouTube, which collects about 45% of the ad revenues it sells for Machinima. No word here about the terms of the financing arrangement, although the companies say that current investors MK Capital, Redpoint Ventures, and Google Capital have also upped their stake. Machinima is said to have raised $67M, including $35M from Google. Here’s today’s official announcement:
Los Angeles, CA, March 10, 2014 – Machinima, the leading global video entertainment network for young males and videogamers, has closed an $18 million financing led by Warner Bros. Entertainment with existing investors MK Capital, Redpoint Ventures, and Google Capital participating. The announcement was made today by Allen DeBevoise, Chairman and CEO, Machinima.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with Warner Bros., the leading producer of exactly the type of content that resonates with our global audience of videogamers and millennial males,” said DeBevoise. “There are myriad opportunities to connect Warner Bros.’ content to our audience across YouTube and our highly successful apps, and similarly to maximize the value of our content by utilizing Warner Bros.’ expertise in global distribution beyond YouTube.”
“Machinima has been a pioneer and category leader in the YouTube MCN space, with thousands of channel partners and a premium brand that reaches millions of daily users,” said Thomas Gewecke, Chief Digital Officer and Executive Vice President, Strategy and Business Development, Warner Bros. Entertainment. “We’ve been impressed with Machinima as a distribution partner, and by their focus on creators and commitment to high quality, exciting original digital content.”
“Machinima connects with a worldwide audience of millennial fans and creators,” said Craig Hunegs, President, Business and Strategy, Warner Bros. Television Group. “We’re excited about the opportunity to work closely with Machinima and its channel partners to reach new audiences, create new original content, and discover new talent.”
The Warner Bros. investment builds on an existing relationship with Machinima, which serves as the exclusive distribution partner for two seasons of “Mortal Kombat: Legacy,” the hit live-action web series based on the iconic Mortal Kombat video game franchise, produced by Warner Bros. Digital Distribution, co-created by Ed Boon, developed by NetherRealm Studios and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.