Brian Robbins created AwesomenessTV, a kids' network on YouTube,… (Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles…)
The media company that launched a YouTube channel targeting teens and tweens has drawn $3.5 million in funding from a group of investors led by the venture capital firm MK Capital.
AwesomenessTV has attracted some 12 million views since the channel premiered in June with an assortment of online programs, including a talk show, sketch comedies, music offerings and sports shows. The channel is the brainchild of Brian Robbins, a veteran producer who has spent decades creating movies and television shows for young viewers.
"Brian is just a really unique guy with a proven ability to connect with this audience," said MK Capital partner Mark Terbeek, who spearheaded the investment and will serve on the AwesomenessTV board. "We know he gets it and can produce stuff cost-effectively."
Terbeek said his firm believes AwesomenessTV has the potential to become a next-generation media company, effectively reaching audiences that look to the Internet for their entertainment -- especially to YouTube.
"We know they're on YouTube in droves and showing up more and more every day," Terbeek said. "Brian, by targeting that young demo, doesn't have to convince a younger demographic to change their behavior. They're there already."
MK Capital also has invested in other businesses that seek to take advantage of the broad reach of YouTube, including Machinima, an entertainment network for video game aficionados that has 121 million online subscribers.
Robbins said he plans to use some of the new money to expand his marketing team and invest in promotion, as well as develop more ambitious digital series like "The Runaways," a teen drama reminiscent of television shows Robbins produced for the CW and WB, such as "Smallville" and "One Tree Hill." The new online show premieres Labor Day weekend on AwesomenessTV.
"It just allows us to sort of keep growing what we started and expand our team," Robbins said.
OMG, it's a YouTube channel just for millennials
YouTube video game channel Machinima aims for the next level
TV networks try to connect with young, tech-savvy multitaskers