AwesomenessTV Celebrates 1 Year With DreamWorks
Streaming Media: What kind of goods will that division sell?
Brett Bouttier: I think the possibilities are limitless. We could look at everything from fashion to beauty to electronics. There’s any number of categories where I think we could come up with really great branding and content that puts context into what the product is. For us, it will be about building a smart business plan around influencers and a brand and the right goods.
Streaming Media: What Awesomeness properties that you think would be a natural fit for that kind of consumer brand products?
Brett Bouttier: There’s something brewing right now that I can’t release yet, but it will be around a fashion line that will be a new brand. We’ll be creating content around that.
Big Frame, which we recently acquired, has a brand called Polished under its umbrella which is a fashion and beauty channel. That would be a great brand name for something in the beauty category.
We look at this category as the future of where anyone, but in particular, teens are going -- to the people that they trust, which are the stars whose content they watch. In many cases, they’re experts, whether it’s about beauty, fashion, or some other category. If those people can really influence the way purchasing decisions are made then there’s a big opportunity to build a business there. You have to admire what Michelle Phan has done, what Bethany Mota is doing right now with Aeropostale. We know, based on the talent that we work with and the platform that we have, that we have all of the pieces there to make that something that could be extremely powerful.
Streaming Media: Give us some other examples of ways that being under the DreamWorks umbrella has helped your company grow faster or in new directions.
Brett Bouttier: The Big Frame acquisition was something where a complementary company merged with Awesomeness and built a talent management company. We are identifying new talent and helping them grow their businesses. The ability to go in and do a deal like that quickly and have the experience and capital resources of DreamWorks behind us certainly is rocket fuel for us.
I think also we’ve been aggressive in our hiring. We’ve created a whole new layer of talented senior executives in the company, folks that we added because of our bold vision for how big we can make the company.
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Streaming Media: Tell us about the DreamWorks TV launch. Is AwesomenessTV a part of that?
Brett Bouttier: Yeah, we developed it with folks at DreamWorks, and we’ll be operating it day-in and day-out.
Streaming Media: What will it offer?
Brett Bouttier: Where Awesomeness is targeted at teens and tweens, DreamWorks TV will be targeted at the whole family. Younger demos can tune in with their parents and watch animated shows and as well as live action. One of the big strategic differences versus anything else that’s out there in the market is that we will have the DreamWorks characters video blogging on the channel. So short-form videos featuring Shrek and Po the Panda and Puss in Boots will appear daily on the channel.
Streaming Media: Have any DreamWorks characters appeared on AwesomenessTV?
Brett Bouttier: No, none of the characters from DreamWorks have appeared in Awesomeness productions, although we’ve done some cool crossover marketing stuff with How to Train Your Dragon and Peabody & Sherman that was quite popular with our audience. Every once in a while, we’ll get access to content or a trailer, or we’ll talk about doing some cool campaign that can integrate an upcoming feature release, and that’s been a great crossover.
Streaming Media: What do you think of the trend of big TV or movie studios buying up the big online video players?
Brett Bouttier: Yeah, having worked at a big media company for a really long time -- I was at Warner Brothers for eight years before I joined the Awesomeness team -- I think it completely makes sense. Media is ultimately defined by the content, and the platform is just a means to an end. You look at all of these media companies that are diversified, and many of them, they’re in feature films, and they’re in TV, and some of them are in radio, and, of course, now in digital. To tap into the creator communities where lots of development of original programing is happening quickly just makes sense.
Those companies need to foster what they’ve bought and make sure that they know how to be engaged and involved in seeing what content can cross over from an environment like YouTube into mainstream media. If they can do that, they could build some valuable properties.
This article appears in the October 2014 issue of Streaming Media magazine as "AwesomenessTV Celebrates 1 Year With DreamWorks."
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