Mobile giant Verizon has ordered more than 200 hours of programming annually from DreamWorks Animation units AwesomenessTV and DreamWorksTV, designed to create two new “over-the-top” channels for online video audiences. The two “over-the-top” video channels will launch later this year for Verizon U.S. customers as part of a multi-year deal.
The AwesomenessTV channel will target teens and young millennials with both scripted and unscripted content. The DreamWorksTV channel will be more family oriented, and feature short-form live-action and animated programming. It also will include some of the best-known animated characters that parent DreamWorks has created or acquired over the years.
The deal is AwesomenessTV’s latest effort to move beyond its roots as a multi-channel network solely on YouTube. The company, like many of its biggest online-video competitors, represents tens of thousands of creators on Google’s video unit, but all have been seeking to diversify with new kinds of content offerings, new business models and new distribution outlets. AwesomenessTV claims 112 million subscribers for its channels.
“It’s increasingly clear that ‘mobile first’ is the way millennials are consuming all types of content, especially HD video and music,” said Verizon VP of content acquisition and strategy Terry Denson. “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.”
Most media companies are in particular exploring ways to distribute more content to the fast-growing audience on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. The companies cited a recent study by CTM, a research institute tied to the USC Marshall School of Business, that found that nearly two-thirds of Millennials consider mobile devices their primary entertainment device, rather than a traditional TV. Overall video consumption jumped 12 percent between 2013 and 2014, and that rate of increase was largest among 18- to 24-year-olds, the demographic traditional TV networks are increasingly challenged to reach.
“This is an incredible opportunity to expand the audience for both AwesomenessTV and DreamWorksTV,” said AwesomenessTV CEO Brian Robbins. “Mobile is where our audience lives which is why we are looking forward to working with Verizon to introduce our programming and talent to their massive customer base.”