After Striking Out With Maker Studios and Fullscreen, Relativity Media Starts from Scratch

It seems that Relativity Media is determined to get into the digital studio business no matter what it takes. After making a failed last-minute attempt to outbid Disney for Maker Studios, and an equally ill-fated overture to Fullscreen, it seems Relativity is going ahead with plans to build their own digital division from scratch.

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Last February, Relativity announced that it had hired Roger Mincheff, formerly head of Myspace Entertainment, to run its forthcoming digital division. Yesterday, they added Angela Courtin, former president of media and communications firm the Dentsu Aegis Network, to serve as chief marketing officer. The move makes it clear that Relativity has all but abandoned hope of acquiring an existing MCN and is ready to go ahead with creating its own digital content studio from the ground up.

Independent digital studios have become increasingly thin as a group since major media brands began snapping up multi-channel networks last two years. Most of the major networks have already been absorbed into larger media conglomerates withAwesomenessTV joining DreamWorks, and subsequently acquiringBig Frame, and Maker Studios’ recent acquisition by The Walt Disney Company. Even prior to the recent round of MCN hunting, San Francisco-based Revision3 became a division of Discovery Communications.

The net effect of these acquisitions has all but emptied the field of large independently operated multi-channel networks. Even Fullscreen, the last large survivor of a once crowded field, is merely holding out for money, believing that it deserves a Maker Studios-sized deal. In the place of independent MCNs are a new breed of multi-channel digital networks that have been incubated by large conglomerates. Relativity Digital Studios will join similar ventures like ProSiebenSat.1’s Studio71 and Alloy Entertainments Alloy Digital.

What will the post-MCN online video world look like?

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