Canada's Blue Ant Media Invests in YouTube MCN Omnia Media

4:00 AM PST 04/01/2014 by Etan Vlessing

The Canadian broadcaster is expanding globally by taking a minority stake in the American multichannel network that makes and distributes content via digital platforms.

TORONTO – Canadian indie broadcaster Blue Ant Media has taken a minority stake in Omnia Media, a YouTube multichannel network.

Terms of the deal, including the value of the transaction, were not disclosed.

But the agreement will allow Toronto-based Blue Ant to grow its digital and production business by combining its multiplatform assets with Omnia's roster of 650 YouTube content creators, who have around 40 million subscribers and generate around 550 million global video views a month.

Omnia Media, in turn, becomes the latest YouTube business to receive financial backing from a traditional media company, as the deal echoes that of Disney acquiring the YouTube MCN Maker Studios and Germany's ProSiebenSat.1 snapping up a 20 percent stake in Video Game High School producer Collective Digital Studio.

In return for its investment, Blue Ant will handle programming distribution for content from Los Angeles-based Omnia Media.

Blue Ant becomes the exclusive sales representative of Omnia Media’s 550 million monthly digital video impressions, and the preferred production partner for original content creation and brand integrations.

The Canadian company is looking to monetize its Omnia investment by offering advertisers content marketing and experiential programs by connecting them directly with a growing network of emerging YouTube creators.

Omnia artists include Hopsin, The Weeknd, Tyga and Wycelf Jean.

"Their [Omnia's] size and hugely talented stars across many genres of music and gaming make them an ideal fit within our lifestyle categories," Raja Khanna, CEO of television and digital at Blue Ant, said Tuesday in a statement.

"We look forward to working closely with their network of artists and creators to provide new opportunities to showcase their content and connect with our brand partners," he added.

For its part, Omnia Media, with the Blue Ant investment, is looking to expand it reach with brands.

"We’re continuing to look for great new talent to work with and help develop hit content that will make them stars on and off YouTube," Tamoor Shafi, CEO of Omnia Media, said in his own statement.

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