For years, the relationship between old and new media resembled that of awkward 13-year-olds at a middle school dance, standing on opposite sides of the gymnasium.
But the past few years have seemed more like a glittery high school prom, as legacy media companies like NBCUniversal, Disney and A+E Networks have found their dates, investing in digitally native companies like Vice, Maker Studios, BuzzFeed and Vox.
And this morning, Turner found its match in Mashable, the 11-year-old digital media outlet. The Time Warner media company led the latest round of funding for Mashable, which received a total of $15 million. Prior investors Time Warner Investments, Updata Partners, David Jones, Mike Lazerow, and R&R Venture Partners are included that in total. But Turner's investment includes more than cold hard cash.
Turner's TBS and TNT networks will work with Mashable to co-develop and distribute video content and team up on cross-platform ad sales packages. Turner Entertainment also gains access to Mashable's Velocity platform, which distributes branded content; Mashable will also push out Turner programming. Kevin Reilly, chief creative officer for Turner Entertainment and president of TBS and TNT, joins Mashable's board.
"Just as we are redefining these networks and continue to innovate beyond the traditional television universe, Mashable is redefining digital storytelling, making us ideal partners in today's rapidly evolving media ecosystem," said Reilly in a statement. "We're confident our partnership will increase the cultural relevance of Turner and Mashable content across all of our platforms."
Mashable, which will for the first time present at the Digital Content NewFronts in May, said it will use the new funding to further expand its video offerings and enhance its proprietary technology and data platforms, as well as beef up its premium advertising offerings. Last June, the company launched Mashable Studios, which creates serialized video programming and branded entertainment.
"The most exciting thing right now is the future of TV. Turner, home to the top rated cable networks, is the perfect partner to bring the best of tech and digital culture to TV in fresh ways," said Pete Cashmore, CEO and founder of Mashable. "Kevin Reilly is a creative visionary that will be a huge asset as we continue to grow as a global entertainment brand."