Warner Bros leads $24 million investment into Machinima online video network

MUMBAI: Warner Bros Entertainment has upped its investment in Machinima, leading a $24 million round of financing for the online video network.

Machinima, the first global Many2Many programming service is focused on fandom and gamer culture.

Other previous investors in Machinima, including Redpoint Ventures, MK Capital, Coffin Capital alongside Machinima chairman Allen DeBevoise.

The investment builds on a year-long transformation at Machinima, during which monthly viewership is up over 70 per cent and US unique viewers have tripled. Overall, Machinima boasts a massive audience of more than 430 million subscribers worldwide, 170 million monthly unique viewers and 3.7 billion monthly video views.

“In 2014, Machinima regained our leadership position in the global digital video marketplace by focusing on our Talent Network and transforming our brand into one that is reflective of our content, our audience and our community of creators. This additional funding will enable Machinima to accelerate our growth through increased investments in content and technology that better serves our audiences, advertisers, creators and distributors,” said Machinima CEO Chad Gutstein.

“Under Chad’s leadership, Machinima continues to grow as a key entertainment destination for millennials. With its enormous fan base, Machinima is an important exhibition partner, providing content creators, including Warner Bros., multiple platforms for distributing and monetizing digital content and programming brands,” said Warner Bros. Television Group president, business and strategy Craig Hunegs.

Warner Bros.’ participation in this funding continues the longstanding relationship between the two companies, which has resulted in live-action web series including two seasons of “Mortal Kombat: Legacy.” Later this year, Machinima will release “Justice League: Gods and Monsters Chronicles,” an animated limited series from DC Comics and Blue Ribbon Content, and executive produced by Bruce Timm and Alan Burnett.

In 2014, the company revamped its executive team first with the hiring of former Ovation TV COO Chad Gutstein as CEO. Throughout the year, Gutstein unveiled key appointments to all areas of Machinima’s business, including most recently chief content officer Daniel Tibbets.

The new team capped off 2014 by executing a comprehensive brand repositioning of the company. Placing a renewed focus on Machinima’s vast and gifted talent network, and original programming capabilities, the rebrand featured a new tagline “Heroes Rise” along with a completely revamped talent program, which was supported by the launch of Console, a state-of-the-art technology platform. Additionally, the website was overhauled into a valuable resource for creators and advertisers and the Machinima Legion viewer panel was unveiled.

With more than 30 million monthly unique viewers, Machinima currently ranks ninth in total US audience for Online Video Entertainment Properties and fourth for US males 18-49. The company is making a concerted effort to supplement its explosive YouTube presence with additional distribution platforms. Recently, Machinima announced distribution partnerships with Samsung and Vessel.

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