The ProSiebenSat.1 Group has acquiring a 20% stake in Collective Digital Studios (CDS), an American multichannel network that produces, distributes, and markets video content via digital platforms.
Germany-headquartered ProSieben said that CDS is currently achieving nearly a billion video views per month with 600 channels, and more than 100 million subscribers. The deal comes after Disney recently made a US$500 million play for the multichannel network Maker Studios.
CDS markets online talent and formats, including The Annoying Orange, Epic Meal Time and FreddieWong/Video Game High School. ProSiebenSat.1 said the deal provides it with access to the rapidly growing global online video market “and an impressive roster of internationally recognized talent.”
The news comes after ProSiebenSat.1 formed its own multichannel network, Studio71, in August 2013, to house its own web production activities.
Christian Wegner, a member of the executive board of ProSiebenSat.1, said: “Digital functions globally. Having established a leading multichannel network in the German-speaking region, we are taking the consequent next step with CDS to create a global player in what is a high-growth sector of the entertainment industry.”
ProSieben is acquiring the stake for an undisclosed sum via its production-distribution group Red Arrow Entertainment, whose MD Jan Frouman said. “Our partnership with CDS is a major strategic step forward for Red Arrow.
“Not only will we be expanding our global digital presence in a real and meaningful way – but we will be doing it with a team who knows the space and shares our creative philosophy.”
CDS chairman Michael Green added: “With the ProSiebenSat.1 investment, CDS has gained a strategic partner that will enable us to monetize the global reach of our content as well as tap into the Red Arrow distribution system to create additional opportunities for our creative talent.”
CDS is a subsidiary of Collective Management Group, a multimedia management/production company that is owned by its founders and the GF Capital Private Equity Fund.