Viacom Acquires Leading Gen-Z Media Company Awesomeness
July 27, 2018 – Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA) today announced the acquisition of AwesomenessTV Holdings, LLC (“Awesomeness”), a media company and leading digital-first destination for original programming serving global Gen-Z audiences. Awesomeness will join Viacom’s portfolio of premiere entertainment brands as part of Viacom Digital Studios.
With a network of more than 158 million subscribers, the addition of Awesomeness will strengthen Viacom’s dominance among coveted youth audiences and accelerate the company’s push to produce original premium digital programming. Awesomeness’ Emmy award-winning, youth-focused studio business also complements Viacom’s studio production strategy and enhances its established content distribution footprint across the leading digital and social platforms.
“Awesomeness has done an incredible job building their brand into a digital media powerhouse for today’s most sought-after and hard-to-reach youth audiences,” said Kelly Day, President of Viacom Digital Studios and former Chief Business Officer of Awesomeness. “The team brings strong digital expertise, deep connections with top talent and influencers, a world-class television and film studio, and a robust branded content team and creative agency that will accelerate the growth and scale of Viacom Digital Studios.”
Awesomeness will help accelerate Viacom’s digital transformation, bolstering the efforts of its recently launched Viacom Digital Studios. Since the launch of Viacom Digital Studios, Viacom’s brands achieved year-over-year domestic increases in social video views and watch time by 112% and 104%, respectively. Viacom’s YouTube subscribers have nearly doubled in the past year and digital streams have tripled over the past two years driven by tremendous social growth.
Awesomeness was co-founded by Brian Robbins, who currently serves as President of Paramount Players at Viacom, and Joe Davola. Awesomeness was previously owned by Comcast/NBCUniversal, Hearst and Verizon. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Viacom is home to premier global media brands that create compelling entertainment content – including television programs, motion pictures, short-form content, games, consumer products, podcasts, live events and social media experiences – for audiences in 183 countries. Viacom's media networks, including Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., MTV, BET, Comedy Central, Paramount Network, VH1, TV Land, CMT, Logo, Channel 5 (UK), Telefe (Argentina), Colors (India) and Paramount Channel, reach approximately 4.3 billion cumulative television subscribers worldwide. Paramount Pictures is a major global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment. Paramount Television develops, finances and produces original programming for television and digital platforms.
Awesomeness is a media company and leading digital-first destination for original programming serving the global Gen Z audience. Founded in 2012 by Brian Robbins and Joe Davola, Awesomeness’ extensive distribution footprint spans across owned, social and premium SVOD platforms. The company also includes a creative agency, creator network, and brand partnerships division. Awesomeness is headquartered in Los Angeles, with additional offices in New York, and London.
Karen Shosfy, Viacom