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Chernin–AT&T JV Otter Media acquires Creativebug

MUMBAI: Otter Media, the newly-named venture between AT&T and The Chernin Group, has acquired Creativebug, a source for high-quality online video arts and crafts instruction, from Demand Media.

Otter Media is focused on acquiring, investing in and launching over-the-top (OTT) video services, positioning the alliance to take advantage of the rapid growth of OTT subscription video services.

Founders Jeanne Lewis and Julie Roehm launched Creativebug in 2012. Based in San Francisco, it offers do-it-yourself video workshops featuring instruction from top artists and designers in the craft world. With such designers as Amy Butler, a well-known author recognised for her sophisticated yet relaxed modern approach to printed fabrics and products for home, fashion and craft, Creativebug taps into the large and growing crafting and DIY audiences in the US and abroad. In the US alone, the craft market is a $29 billion dollar industry.

Creativebug boasts a global audience of subscribers who have unlimited access to its premium classes to learn the art of sewing, knitting, jewellery-making, printmaking and more. It features more than 300 online classes, with new classes added each week.

The Chernin Group executive VP Sarah Harden said, “Creativebug has inventively and successfully tapped into this powerful and engaged crafts audience who are passionate about making and creating. 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.”

Creativebug CEO Ursula Morgan said, “With Creativebug, Jeanne and Julie have built and nurtured a place for arts and crafts enthusiasts of all skill sets and levels to learn and connect. We are excited about reaching further into this community, thanks to the amplified resources of this new relationship, and to continue to extend our premium video class offerings.”

Creativebug’s existing team, led by newly-named CEO Ursula Morgan; chief creative officer and co-founder Jeanne Lewis; VP, operations & partnerships and co-founder Julie Roehm; and VP, editorial and co-founder Kelly Wilkinson will continue with the company.

The deal builds upon Otter Media’s existing portfolio of OTT video services, including its majority stake in Crunchyroll, a leading subscription and ad-supported video service. Crunchyroll is a global destination and platform for Japanese anime and Asian content. It delivers more than 25,000 episodes and 15,000 hours of officially-licensed content from leading Asian media producers directly to viewers within minutes of TV broadcast.