AT&T announced a deal to acquire The Chernin Group’s controlling stake in Otter Media, a joint venture formed by the two companies in 2014, as the US operator continues to build up its media portfolio following its Time Warner acquisition.
In a statement, AT&T said Otter Media will be folded into WarnerMedia, the unit formed by the US operator following completion of the $85 billion Time Warner deal. Current Otter Media CEO Tony Goncalves will continue to run the company, reporting to WarnerMedia chief John Stankey.
Stankey said AT&T will look to “harness Otter’s expertise in feeding the passion of online audiences to augment our portfolio of digital assets”.
Otter Media operates as a subscription, advertising and content company, comprising wholly-owned subsidiaries Ellation, an online subscription video service provider; and Fullscreen, a digital media company. Otter Media company also holds stakes in global content studio Gunpowder and Sky, along with media company Hello Sunshine.
The operator and The Chernin Group established Otter Media to “invest and develop platforms and properties that capitalised on the growth of direct-to-consumer subscription and advertising models, as well as the rise of new digital media brands”.
AT&T said the company has now established a global audience of more than 93 million unique monthly consumers across its brands, with 2 million paying subscribers, and “is on pace” to deliver 75 billion video views.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but AT&T said the acquisition “did not have a material effect on its first half 2018 results”.
The Chernin Group CEO Peter Chernin added with “AT&T’s direct-to-consumer relationships, vast data and varied content, I believe they can accelerate Otter’s growth”.
As AT&T continues its march in the media segment, rival Verizon recently took a step back on its own ambitions after striking a deal to sell its joint venture AwesomenessTV to Viacom.
The company’s go90 mobile video app was also shuttered at the end of July.