Los Angeles Business Journal

Awesomeness to Relaunch Seventeen YouTube Channel

By Natalie Jarvey Wednesday, October 16, 2013

AwesomenessTV built up a teen-skewed YouTube network with enough potential that DreamWorks Animation acquired the fledgling company in May for $33 million – a number that could balloon to $117 million based on performance.

Now the L.A. company is bringing its expertise to Seventeen.

AwesomenessTV announced Wednesday that it has joined with Hearst Corp. to relaunch the Seventeen YouTube channel and will create a multichannel network for the magazine's teen girl brand. AwesomenessTV has created a stand-alone team to develop and promote content for the Seventeen network.

The new version of the channel, which will launch early next year, could feature everything from beauty how-to videos to segments about proms. It could also eventually become a platform to launch scripted and serialized television shows, said Brett Bouttier, chief operating officer at Awesomeness.

"One of the reasons we've been successful is because we create lots of fresh programming every single day," Bouttier said. "One of the things we'll be doing with Seventeen is adding daily and weekly programming. We can develop the next big franchise hits."

AwesomenessTV has experience in the serialized video business. Chief Executive Brian Robbins produced "Smallville" and "One Tree Hill" before switching to the online video business. The company also aired its titular web series on Nickelodeon.

The Seventeen multichannel network will link to the channels of YouTube personalities that are creating their own videos. Seventeen readers will also be able to create videos and become part of the network.

This is the first time that Awesomeness has worked with an existing franchise to help grow its video presence, Bouttier said.

The current Seventeen channel has nearly 101,000 subscribers; the AwesomenessTV network reaches 26 million subscribers.

"The great thing about Seventeen is that it's already a very popular brand on YouTube," Bouttier said. "What we think we can do is add the video production and audience development capabilities that we've been so successful at with Awesomeness to make this a really powerful match up."