Otter Media

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Otter Media Holdings, LLC
IndustryMass media
FoundedApril 22, 2014; 8 years ago (2014-04-22)
HeadquartersSanta Monica, California, U.S.
Key people
Tony Goncalves (CEO)[1]
Andy Forssell (COO)
ProductsOTT Services
Digital Networks
Film Production
Film Distribution
Online Television Programming
$500 million (2014)[2]
OwnerAT&T/The Chernin Group (2014–2018)
WarnerMedia (2018–2022)
Warner Bros. Discovery (2022–present)
Number of employees
1,400 (2018)
ParentWarner Bros. Discovery Streaming and Interactive Entertainment (2022–present)

Otter Media Holdings, LLC is an American digital media company owned by Warner Bros. Discovery. It owns Rooster Teeth, and holds an ownership stake in Gunpowder & Sky with Floris Bauer.[4][5][6][7] Until 2022, the company was owned by AT&T subsidiary WarnerMedia.


In April 2014, AT&T and the Chernin Group established Otter Media as the 50:50 joint venture to offer OTT services.[8]

In January 2016, Otter Media invested in Van Toffler (former CEO of Viacom Media Networks Music Group) and Floris Bauer's Gunpowder & Sky, a digital content company, which eventually merged with FilmBuff.[9]

In November 2016, Otter Media and actress Reese Witherspoon formed Hello Sunshine, a joint venture focused on telling female-driven stories on film, TV, and digital platforms; the company was later sold to a media company backed by the Blackstone Group.[10][11]

In January 2018, Otter Media bought the remaining stake in Ellation, the owner of VRV and Crunchyroll, and integrated it as Otter Media's Consumer Division.[6]

On June 20, 2018, Recode reported that AT&T was close to buying out Chernin's stake in Otter Media, on the heel of its acquisition of Time Warner (whose digital media holdings included Machinima).[12] On August 7, 2018, AT&T announced their acquisition of Chernin Group's stake in Otter Media for an undisclosed amount, believed to be around $1 billion.[13]

On August 22, 2018, Ellation formed Ellation Studios, a production studio with facilities in both the U.S. and Japan, to produce original content for Crunchyroll and VRV.[14][15]

On December 4, 2018, Otter announced a broad restructuring that would result in the layoff of about ten percent of its staff. As part of the reorganization, Machinima, which had been part of Warner Bros. Digital Networks, was re-organized under Otter Media. Ellation will now house Rooster Teeth, Crunchyroll, and VRV, while Machinima became a unit of Fullscreen.[16][17][18]

On March 4, 2019, following the reconstruction of WarnerMedia's businesses, Otter Media became part of Warner Bros. Entertainment.[19] However, on May 31, it was transferred to the WarnerMedia Entertainment division in order to oversee HBO Max.[20]

In September 2019, Crunchyroll announced it had acquired a majority stake in Viz Media Europe from Hitotsubashi Group,[21] and later rebranded Viz Media Europe as Crunchyroll SAS.[22][23] As a result, the Ellation name was moved from being Otter Media's Consumer Division to Crunchyroll's subsidiary in Moldova,[24] and VRV was made a brand of Crunchyroll.[25]

On December 9, 2020, Sony-owned Funimation announced its acquisition of Crunchyroll from Otter Media for $1.175 billion, which was finalized on August 9, 2021.[26]


  1. ^ "AT&T Digital Executive Named CEO of Otter Media". 12 February 2018.
  2. ^ Spangler, Todd (22 April 2014). "AT&T, Chernin Group Invest $500 Million in Over-the-Top Video Venture". Retrieved 17 September 2016.
  3. ^ "About Us - Gunpowder & Sky". Gunpowder & Sky. 22 August 2017. Retrieved July 19, 2018.
  4. ^ Roettgers, Janko (3 August 2015). "Chernin, AT&T Set Brand for New Online Video Venture: Ellation (Exclusive)". Retrieved 17 September 2016.
  5. ^ Roettgers, Janko (4 November 2015). "Chernin's Otter Media Aims for More Than $200M Revenue This Year". Retrieved 17 September 2016.
  6. ^ a b Roettgers, Janko (2018-01-24). "AT&T-Chernin J.V. Otter Media Buys Out Remaining Fullscreen, Crunchyroll Owners". Variety. Retrieved 2018-04-17.
  7. ^ "Otter Media Buys Remainder of Its Digital Businesses Fullscreen, Ellation". The Hollywood Reporter. 24 January 2018. Retrieved 2019-10-03.
  8. ^ Spangler, Todd (September 30, 2014). "AT&T, Chernin Group Name 2 Execs to Run Over-the-Top Video Venture". Variety. Retrieved February 22, 2022.
  9. ^ Spangler, Todd (January 13, 2016). "Van Toffler Launches Digital Studio Backed by Chernin Group, AT&T". Variety. Archived from the original on December 20, 2016. Retrieved January 15, 2017.
  10. ^ Busch, Anita (November 21, 2016). "Reese Witherspoon, Otter Media Pact For New Company Hello Sunshine". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on January 16, 2017. Retrieved January 15, 2017.
  11. ^ "Reese Witherspoon's Hello Sunshine Sold for $900 Million to Media Company Backed by Blackstone". 2 August 2021.
  12. ^ "AT&T is getting ready to acquire all of Otter Media, the streaming video company it co-owns with Peter Chernin". Recode. Archived from the original on 2018-06-20. Retrieved 2018-06-27.
  13. ^ Spangler, Todd (2018-08-07). "AT&T Buys Out Chernin Group's Stake in Otter Media". Variety. Retrieved 2018-11-22.
  14. ^ Roettgers, Janko (22 August 2018). "AT&T's Ellation Launches Studios in Burbank and Tokyo to Produce Crunchyroll Originals".
  15. ^ "Deeper Dive—AT&T has extra SVOD gems in Crunchyroll and VRV". 23 August 2018.
  16. ^ Spangler, Todd (2018-12-04). "AT&T's Otter Media Lays Off 10% of Staff, Will Absorb Machinima in Reorg". Variety. Retrieved 2018-12-05.
  17. ^ Weiss, Geoff (2019-01-22). "After Porting Its Creator Network To Fullscreen, Machinima Wipes Seminal YouTube Channel". Tubefilter. Retrieved 2019-01-24.
  18. ^ Alexander, Julia (2019-01-19). "Machinima, one of YouTube's biggest and oldest channels, goes dark". The Verge. Retrieved 2019-01-19.
  19. ^ Feiner, Lauren (March 4, 2019). "WarnerMedia reorganizes its leadership team after AT&T acquisition". CNBC. Retrieved March 4, 2019.
  20. ^ Spangler, Todd (May 31, 2019). "WarnerMedia Reorg Gives Otter Media's Tony Goncalves Oversight of Streaming Service Development". Variety. Retrieved July 9, 2019.
  21. ^ Coats, Cayla (September 6, 2019). "Crunchyroll and VIZ Media Europe Group Enter a New Relationship". Crunchyroll. Retrieved September 6, 2019.
  22. ^ Mateo, Alex (April 2, 2020). "Viz Media Europe SAS Changes Name to Crunchyroll SAS". Anime News Network. Retrieved April 2, 2020.
  24. ^ "Ellation". LinkedIn. Retrieved April 3, 2020. Ellation (a Crunchyroll company) was formerly the Consumer Division of WarnerMedia's Otter Media, which included industry leading brands Crunchyroll, Rooster Teeth, and VRV. We are transitioning the Ellation company name to focus on our team in Chișinău, Moldova.
  25. ^ "Crunchyroll | About". Crunchyroll. Retrieved April 4, 2020. VRV (U.S.) and Eye See Movies (Germany) are also Crunchyroll brands.
  26. ^ Spangler, Todd (December 9, 2020). "AT&T to Sell Crunchyroll to Sony's Funimation for $1.175 Billion". Variety. Retrieved December 10, 2020.

External links[edit]