Chernin/AT&T J.V. Buys Creativebug For $10 Million

OTT Venture, Formed In April, Now Called Otter Media
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The over-the-top video venture formed by AT&T and The Chernin Group announced their first acquisition while also revealing Otter Media as the new name for the J.V.

Otter Media, a company focused on acquiring, investing in and launching OTT video services, has nabbed Creativebug Inc., a source for “high-quality online video arts and crafts instruction,” from Demand Media. Otter Media paid $10 million, according to this SEC filing.

San Francisco-based Creativebug was founded in 2012and features more than 300 online classes. Creativebug’s team, including new CEO Ursula Morgan; chief creative officer Jeanne Lewis; VP, operations & partnerships Julie Roehm; and VP, editorial Kelly Wilkinson will stay on with Otter Media. Lewis, Roehm and Wilkinson are co-founders.

According to the Creativebug site, the service offers some free content alongside paid offerings, including unlimited access to workshops for $9.95 per month, and an a la carte option that hawks single workshops starting at $9.95 each. Workshop categories include bookbinding, crochet, embroidery, felting, kids crafts, patchwork, stamping and home decor.

Creativebug taps into a craft market worth about $29 billion, Otter Media estimated, citing a study from 2011.

“Creativebug has inventively and successfully tapped into this powerful and engaged crafts audience who are passionate about making and creating,” said Sarah Harden, executive vice president at the Chernin Group, in a statement. “Online video is the perfect medium to connect leading artists to their audiences across the globe. And the team at Creativebug has built out a very strong leadership position in this category. We look forward to supporting their continued growth alongside our other offerings.”  

AT&T and The Chernin Group committed to invest $500 million in the venture when they announced it in April.

The J.V., which also holds a majority stake in Japanese anime and Asian content-focused OTT service Crunchyroll, is developing a strategy focused on subscription- and ad-supported VOD channels, as well as streaming services. The Chernin Group also has strategic investments in companies such as Fullscreen, Pandora, SoundCloud, and Flipboard.

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