YouTube acquires digital production company

YouTube has acquired digital studio Next New Networks, marking the first time that the Google-owned online video site has acquired a production company.

YouTube has reportedly paid just under US$50 million to acquire Next New Networks, which is a digital production company and online video distributor that produces a raft of web series including food format Hungry Nation, talk show Barely Political and film series Indy Mogul.

The company, which was founded in March 2007, also operates a distribution platform that allows creators to distribute web series across the Internet. The two companies have also launched YouTube Next following the deal that will serve as a development studio and has hired former Paramount head of digital distribution Alex Carloss to work on content acquisition.

“We are extremely excited to announce the acquisition of Next New Networks,” said Tom Pickett, director of global content operations and YouTube Next. “Within YouTube, Next New Networks will be a laboratory for experimentation and innovation with the team working in a hands on way with a wide variety of content partners and emerging talent to help them succeed on YouTube. At YouTube, we’re focused on building a great technology platform for creators, and so we leave the actual creation of great videos to the people who do it best: our partners. This new group and the addition of the Next New Networks team doesn’t change that,” he added.