In its short two-year existence, AwesomenessTV has gone from making one film featuring a YouTube star to becoming one of the Web's biggest portals for emerging online talent. With the launch of DreamworksTV in mid-June, the online-and-offline entertainment company wants to become the name parents trust for quality YouTube entertainment.
"DreamworksTV is a giant trailblazer. This is the first online network that was built specifically for YouTube with original programming," Beth Greve, AwesomenessTV chief revenue and partnerships officer, explained.
AwesomenessTV first really hit its stride as a YouTube content aggregator for the under 18 audience. In 2013, Dreamworks acquired the company for $33 million and up to $117 million in additional payouts. Though at the time AwesomenessTV only had its roots mainly in the online space, it's since spawned a show on Nickelodeon, created a multi-channel network (MCN) to represent up-and-coming online stars, and has branched into online distribution deals for TV programs and films, among other things.
Now, the film studio is cashing in on its investment by having AwesomenessTV helm its YouTube efforts. Geared toward the 6 to 11-year-old audience, DreamworksTV is a YouTube channel full of original programming that stars cartoon classics like Shrek and Puss In Boots as well as new animated and live action talent. Similar to a traditional network, the programmed playlists allow viewers to gobble up hours of content instead of having to search for a new clip every few minutes. Greve, who recently moved over to AwesomenessTV after a seven-year stint at YouTube, explained that the goal is for parents to confidently type in the URL and know the programming is okay for their kids.
AwesomenessTV doesn't want to stop at the pre-teen audience. Its next mission is to sift through popular teen content to find the creators and videos that are both popular and safe for that audience. Greve hopes that this will also help marketers who are shy about the space feel confident that their messages are going out on quality videos.
"It's a difficult world for some brands. They have to sell products, and they have to remain clean. From our perspective, there's such a huge opportunity to evangelize what is going on in this space," she said.