FremantleMedia Takes Control of European MCN Divimove

/ Jan 23, 2015


FremantleMedia, producer of hit TV shows like “American Idol” and “The X Factor,” has increased its stake in European YouTube multi-channel network Divimove, now owning a majority stake in the company.

The deal comes more than a year after FremantleMedia initially made an investment in Divimove, which is based in Germany and oversees a network 1,700 channels. In September 2013, FremantleMedia took a minority stake in Divimove via a deal that gave it access to the MCN’s YouTube services business, while offering its expertise in IP development, production, talent management, and sponsorships in return.

The two companies would work together to discover, produce, and promote new online talent, they both said at the time. So far, the partnership has resulted in the launch of Shootrs, a talent program that matches Divimove’s network of stars and YouTube knowledge with FremantleMedia’s production capabilities. Shootrs was launched with FremantleMedia companies UFA (in Germany) and Blue Circle (in the Netherlands), and will see a continued rollout across Europe in 2015.

The partners have also teamed to launch Brandboost, a branded content business for advertisers in Europe.

As for Divimove, its network now reaches 80 million subscribers. Like a few other MCNs, the company has also launched a talent management division, which is tasked with exploring new opportunities for Divimove stars across new areas like live events and music. It’s led by Michael Brycz, former managing director (Central Europe) for Warner Music.

Top channels in Divimove’s network include Spain’s Elrubius (9.8 million subscribers), Italy’s FavijTV (1.5 million subscribers), and the Netherlands’ Enzo Knol (550,000 subscribers).

FremantleMedia, meanwhile, grows its already-substantial presence on YouTube. The company operates 216 channels with a combined reach of more than 20 million subscribers. It also owns Tiny Riot, a digital studio that operates under the FremantleMedia North America division.

FremantleMedia’s parent company, RTL Group, also owns StyleHaul, the top beauty network on YouTube, and has a controlling stake in Vancouver-based MCN BroadbandTV.

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