Comcast’s potential $3.8 billion acquisition of Glendale’s DreamWorks Animation could also have a big impact on the world of online media.
Should regulators approve the deal, DreamWorks Chief Executive Jeffrey Katzenberg would reportedly become head of a division called DreamWorks New Media that includes AwesomenessTV, a millennial-focused digital media company owned by DreamWorks. The firm was valued at $650 million after Verizon bought a 24.5 percent stake in April. New York’s Hearst Corp. also holds a 25 percent stake.
Under new owners Comcast and NBCUniversal, AwesomenessTV could potentially collaborate with Buzzfeed and Vox Media – two firms NBCUniversal invested heavily in last year.
“There is always a reason that any company buys all these properties, said Peter Csathy, chief executive of West L.A. consultancy Manatt Digital Media. “Comcast clearly has a strategy to connect these seemingly disparate parts together. It’s a cross-platform play, and the pace of it will only accelerate.”
However, there could be some entanglements to work out too. DreamWorks Animation also supplies animated shows to Netflix, a streaming service that pulls away eyeballs from Comcast’s cable channels. Awesomeness minority owner Verizon is also a direct competitor to Comcast’s own internet business.
“Things are moving so fast that there are bound to be conflicts,” Csathy said, “But the realization is that you have to just keep moving forward aggressively.”
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