Warner Bros. (a division of Time Warner No. 37 on the DiversityInc Top 50 Companies list) has signed an agreement to acquire Machinima, the global programming service focused on fandom and gamer culture, and it will become part of the recently founded Warner Bros. Digital Networks. The announcement was made today by Craig Hunegs, President, Business and Strategy, Warner Bros. Television Group and President, Warner Bros. Digital Networks.
“Machinima is a strong gamer and fandom content and social brand with enormous reach and high engagement with audiences that play our games and are big fans of DC films and television shows,” said Hunegs. “Machinima also produces great, high quality content for their community, and together we can create an even more compelling experience and do some really exciting things involving our key franchises. This acquisition is another meaningful move forward as Warner Bros. develops more direct relationships with our consumers.”
“Since making their first investment in Machinima in 2014, Warner Bros. has been an active business partner in our transformation, so we already have proof points as to how the companies can work together to accelerate Machinima’s growth plans,” said Chad Gutstein, CEO, Machinima. “We’ll now be able to take full advantage of Warner Bros.’ intellectual property, sales and distribution, while still creating content for social and premium digital platforms that gamers and geeks love. Plus, we’ll be fully embedded and can help Warner Bros. continue their incredible digital marketing successes. It’s honestly a win-win.”
In the past two years, Machinima has transitioned from a YouTube MCN to a global programming service and production company delivering popular programming to millions. Since joining Machinima in 2014, Gutstein revamped the executive team, brand, programming and business strategy. As part of that strategy, the company opened a full-service production studio and executed first-of-its-kind premium content partnerships with platforms, including Playstation Vue, Amazon Prime, Verizon’s go90, China’s Sohu and The CW Network. According to comScore, Machinima is the 10th largest digital video entertainment media company in the U.S. ranked by total unique viewers.
Machinima will operate as a wholly owned part of Warner Bros. Digital Networks, a division founded in June 2016 to grow the Studio’s digital and OTT offerings. As part of Time Warner’s overall strategy to reach audiences directly through company-owned current and yet-be-launched OTT services, WBDN works closely with Time Warner’s divisions Turner and HBO.