AwesomenessTV might have been built on YouTube but its content isn’t tied down there forever. The multi-channel network, which was acquired by Dreamworks last year, is branching out with a new app for the Roku. The app will deliver a direct connection to all of
AwesomenessTV’s original shows including “Side Effects,” “Runaways” and “The Jen and Andrea Show,” which stars YouTubers JennXPenn and Andrea Russett. The app will also carry videos from AwesomenessTV’s catalog of teen-focused YouTube vloggers covering topics like pop news, beauty, and fashion.
Connected TV systems like Roku are a valuable source of potential revenue for MCNs looking to grow beyond their YouTube roots. The Young Turks Network were early adopters,who launched their own Roku channel back in 2013. YouTube recently launched its own app for Roku, as did competitor Vimeo. However, for MCNs, a dedicated app carries with it the possibility of owning a greater portion of their audience without having to deal with a middleman like YouTube. Fullscreen is also rumored to have its own Roku app in development while other MCNs like Maker Studios have focused on building their own off-YouTube video platforms instead.
The new app is also a win for Roku, who will gain access to AwesomenessTV’s substantial catalog of teen-focused programming. While MCNs race to distribute their content across as many platforms as possible, those platforms are competing in an ever more crowded field. Roku must wrestle with the likes of Apple TV, Google Chromecast and Amazon Fire TV, among others. The winner will be the platform that can secure the most original content. MCNs with their built-in audience of tech-savvy young viewers are a major prize in this contest.
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