Danny Zappin’s Zealot Networks has made its first buy.
The recently launched digital media company announced Thursday it purchased a majority stake in music licensing firm AudioMicro for $20 million.
Zappin, Zealot’s chief executive, said he’ll most likely pursue a larger stake in the Sherman Oaks company, which topped the San Fernando Valley Business Journal’s annual list of Fastest Growing Private Companies this year with 936 percent revenue growth between 2011 and 2013.
AudioMicro’s YouTube monetization platform AdRev helps artists and publishers collect royalties when their copyrighted content is used in a video without authorization. AdRev announced its own acquisition earlier this week, picking up Santa Monica digital distributor DashGo.
“It’s a great anchor for us to build digital distribution,” Zappin said.
Zappin was unceremoniously ousted last year from the helm of Maker Studios, the multichannel network he co-founded that was eventually sold to Walt Disney Co. in March in a deal worth up to $950 million. But he said he’s excited about his new digital studio, rattling off his intent to acquire and nurture companies in the MCN space, brand management, distribution and Web publishing platforms. More deals are expected in the coming months.
The acquisition is Zealot’s first big move since launching in August with $25 million in initial funding. The financing came from Zappin as well as 15 former and current Maker Studios employees.