Warner Bros. has announced an agreement to acquire full control of Machinima, the digital programming company. They were already an investor in the company from the year 2000, before Youtube launched, but have been part of two additional investments in 2014 and 2015. Other investors include Google, MK Capital and Allen DeBevoise (Machinima’s founder). Machinima became the earliest multichannel network.
In a statement, Craig Hunegs, President of Warner Bros. Digital Network had this to say:
Machinima is a strong gamer and fandom content and social brand with enormous reach and high engagement with audiences that play our games and are big fans of DC films and television shows. Machinima also produces great, high-quality content for their community, and together we can create an even more compelling experience and do some really exciting things involving our key franchises. This acquisition is another meaningful move forward as Warner Bros. develops more direct relationships with our consumers.
Machinima will become part of Warner Bros. Digital Networks which already includes DramaFever, Warner Archive and partnerships with LeBron James and Ellen DeGeneres.
Machinima’s CEO Chad Gutstein added:
Since making their first investment in Machinima in 2014, Warner Bros. has been an active business partner in our transformation, so we already have proof points as to how the companies can work together to accelerate Machinima’s growth plans. We’ll now be able to take full advantage of Warner Bros.’ intellectual property, sales and distribution, while still creating content for social and premium digital platforms that gamers and geeks love. Plus, we’ll be fully embedded and can help Warner Bros. continue their incredible digital marketing successes. It’s honestly a win-win.
In the past two years, Machinima has transitioned from a YouTube MCN to a global programming service and production company. Since joining Machinima in 2014, Gutstein revamped the executive team, brand, programming and business strategy. As part of that strategy, the company opened a full-service production studio and executed premium content partnerships with platforms, including Playstation Vue, Amazon Prime, Verizon’s go90, China’s Sohu and The CW Network. Machinima will operate as a wholly owned part of Warner Bros. Digital Networks, a division founded in June 2016 to grow the Studio’s digital and OTT offerings.
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