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News Corp’s former chief operating officer is buying in to YouTube’s original-videos journey by acquiring a stake in one of the Google network’s chosen producers.
Peter Chernin, who left News Corp in 2009, has invested $10 million in Base 79, an agency which exploits video rights for content owners in online video channels including YouTube. There, it operates 550 channels, from which it claims 550 million monthly views. Release.
The investment is fresh from a $100 million financing Qatar Holdings is putting in to The Chernin Group, according to AllThingsD, joining Providence Equity Partners and others. The group also has investments in Flipboard, Tumblr and Scopely.
Base 79 was formed in 2007 in London by former The Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie’s son Ashley as MyVideoRights. It changed its name in 2011 and opened up in New York to exploit the booming U.S. video opportunity.
At that time, it took an extra £2.75 million funding from previous backers Patrick Walker (YouTube’s EMEA partnerships director), ex Endemol creative chief Peter Bazelgette and MMC Ventures to finance development of mobile and TV apps, deciding to build video in to own-brand containers rather than just go through platforms like YouTube.
Base 79 is, however, a recipient of YouTube’s first European original-productions financing last month, a grant for four such productions.
MMC has returned to join Chernin in this latest funding.
Base 79 leverages content from producers including BBC Worldwide, Endemol’s Tiger Aspect, IMG Media and Simon Cowell’s SyCo.
What we are seeing is the emergence of hotly-tipped companies that depend on existing mass video platforms and which either syndicate video to them, produce it for them or both.