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Viacom acquires minority stake in DigiTour Media

Ryan Beatty

Ryan Beatty performs at DigiFest NYC at Citi Field on June 7, 2014.

(Donald Bowers / Getty Images )

DigiTour Media, the live-entertainment and media company for Generation Z, announced Tuesday that media giant Viacom Inc. has acquired a significant minority stake in the company. 

Founded in 2010, Los Angeles-based DigiTour Media has become known for producing live shows  -- called DigiTours and DigiFests -- featuring social media stars from Vine, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and other platforms geared toward younger audiences.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“Partnering with a premiere entertainment company like Viacom and its powerhouse brands is something I have always envisioned for DigiTour,”  Meridith Valiando Rojas, co-founder and chief executive officer of DigiTour, said in a statement. 

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Viacom’s move underscores its efforts to attract younger viewers, who increasingly gravitate toward online stars with large followings.

A recent study from Defy Media, a digital entertainment company, found the advertiser-desired 13-to-24-year-old age bracket watches 11.3 hours of free online video. That figure is nearly twice the time reported for free online TV offerings from broadcast and cable networks (6.4 hours) or for regularly scheduled TV (8.3 hours).

Though Viacom’s media networks reach 3.4 billion television subscribers worldwide, its premiere television networks -- Nickelodeon, MTV and Comedy Central -- are grappling with ratings declines amid the increase in cord-cutting.

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For the April-June quarter, Viacom’s revenue fell 11% compared with the same period a year earlier. The company, run by 92-year-old media mogul Sumner Redstone, generated $3 billion in revenue in the quarter, falling short of analysts’ estimates of $3.2 billion. Its cable channels generated $2.6 billion in revenue, the same amount as the year-earlier period. 

“We believe that this pairing will lead to opportunities to combine our authentic connection to Generation Z with Viacom’s unparalleled television, film, digital and international resources in order to help accelerate and scale our media brand globally,” Rojas said.

Staff writer Meg James contributed to this report.

For more news on the entertainment industry, follow me @saba_h


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