Looking to add to its impressive online video presence, Alloy Digital, home of popular digital brands like SMOSH and Clevver TV, today acquired The Escapist, a lifestyle gaming site. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
According to Alloy's CEO Matt Diamond, The Escapist and Alloy began working together selling ads when Ecapist's overlapping demographics and budding video presence on YouTube caught the eye of the rapidly growing digital media company. In its own right, The Escapist draws a respectable 3.3 million monthly unique visitors according to comScore, but it appears the site's 30-million-plus YouTube views is what sweetened the deal. "We saw a huge upside on YouTube with Escapist," Diamond said. "Given Alloy's strengths on YouTube and video we think that there'll be a lot more Escapist presence in video as we take advantage of what we're really good at."
Diamond told Adweek the decision to acquire a gaming property came after the success of Alloy's recently launched SMOSH Games YouTube channel, which has garnered 740,000 subscribers and over 40 million video views in its first seven weeks. "SMOSH Games really tested our ability to grow in the gaming area and it gave us the confidence to really attack this newer category," Diamond said.
One can argue the online gaming industry has been more competitive with the recent launch of serious, content-driven sites like Vox Media's Polygon. Yet, Diamond doesn't necessarily see the an issue with competition. "Our approach is different and we don't feel competitive at all with the gaming business," he said, noting that the digitally based company will rely on its established network of fashion, comedy, and entertainment properties to cross-promote in the company's core 12-34 demographic.