It’s still open season on MCNs and AT&T and the Chernin group bagged a big one today. Fullscreen is one of the largest independent MCNs currently in existence. News first broke that a deal might be underway way back in July when Fullscreen turned down a rumored offer from Relativety Media and entered talks with Otter Media, a joint venture between telecom giant AT&T and The Chernin Group. Those talks have finally produced a deal and Otter Media will acquire a controlling stake in Fullscreen for an estimated $200-300 million.
That amount is substantial but it’s way less than the $500 million that Disney paid to acquire Fullscreen rival Maker Studios. Fullscreen leadership has reportedly been holding out for “Maker money” believing that Fullscreen’s impressive roster of talent and a recent streak of high profile partnerships made them worth every penny. Here’s a quick list of what Otter Media is getting when it buys Fullscreen.
1. A network of over 50,000 content creators that includes a boatload of YouTube hitmakers. Fullscreen is home to teen scream generators like O2L, Connor Franta, Lohanthony, and JennXPenn, as well as established comedy stars like Grace Helbig and up-and-coming talent like vlogger ThatSoJack.
2. Access to a massive music catalog. Fullscreen’s roster is full of musicians and cover artists and to make their lives easier the MCN negotiated rights and access to the entire Universal Music Catalogue.
3. A suite of deals with various creator apps all under the “Sign In With Fullscreen” umbrella that makes creators’ lives easier and more streamlined.
4. Loudr, the music publishing and distribution app that helps creators secure rights to covered music and distribute their recordings with the touch of a button.
5. Live events. Fullscreen recently launched inTour, a live festival that brings fans face to face with Fullscreen’s gang of vloggers and creators. The demand for live shows and meet and greets with social media stars has never been higher and Fullscreen has some of the most in demand vloggers on the scene.
Multi-channel networks have been dropping like flies recently as media conglomerates race to buy their way into the YouTube game. Fullscreen was arguably the largest player left standing on the independent field. What this will mean for the industry and for the network’s creator partners remains to be seen. It appears that current Fullscreen CEO George Strompolos will remain with the company in a leadership position so changes may be minimal at first. For now it seems every media company wants their own MCN lately, and they’ll decide what they want to do with it later.