AT&T has acquired the rest of Otter Media, buying out The Chernin Group’s controlling stake with plans to fold the digital media and advertising company into its newly formed WarnerMedia content unit.
Otter Media’s holdings include Ellation (which owns anime streaming service Crunchyroll and SVOD service VRV) and digital media company Fullscreen with its Rooster Teeth brand. Otter also has stakes in content studio Gunpowder & Sky, and media company Hello Sunshine, which was founded by Reese Witherspoon.
Otter CEO Tony Goncalves was appointed as chief executive earlier this year and will continue to head the company, reporting to WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey, AT&T said.
“We are thrilled to incorporate the Otter Media brands and talent into WarnerMedia,” said Stankey in a statement. “Working with Tony, we look to harness Otter’s expertise in feeding the passion of online audiences to augment our portfolio of digital assets and help us further engage, connect and entertain consumers around the globe.”
Otter Media was created as a joint venture between AT&T and The Chernin Group in 2014 and has since built a global audience of more than 93 million unique monthly consumers. The company anticipates delivering more than 75 billion video views this year and said it has more than 2 million paying SVOD subscribers.
“From the outset, Randall Stephenson and John Stankey championed the Otter strategy and vision, and AT&T has been an ideal partner in building the business — smart, creative and supportive,” said Peter Chernin, CEO of The Chernin Group, in a statement. “With AT&T’s direct-to-consumer relationships, vast data and varied content, I believe they can accelerate Otter’s growth. The combination with WarnerMedia will create a new-era media company, serving customers with every type of content delivered through every possible distribution channel.”