Geek & Sundry, the video content company launched by Sheri Bryant and Felicia Day (of The Guild fame), has just sold to Legendary Entertainment for an undisclosed amount.
Geek & Sundry first gained notoriety in the tech world as one of the most prominent of YouTube’s premium content partners. The channel’s episodic series include Wil Wheaton’s Tabletop, Day’s Co-Optitude, and Magic: The Gathering show Spellslingers. The YouTube channel also recently hit 1 million subscribers.
Video content companies with a degree of success on YouTube are definitely hot right now. In the last year, we’ve seen lots of acquisitions from both tech giants like Google (Machinima) as well as legacy media companies like Disney (Maker Studios). And increasingly, there are a number of companies targeting top YouTube talent with the offer of more lucrative contracts, such as Vessel and Yahoo, among others.
That said, it makes sense that Legendary would want to scoop up the Geek & Sundry brand, especially if its planning to expand its efforts in web videos through a new digital network. Also, this isn’t the only time Legendary has targeted a specific Web-video-centric company. Back in 2012, Legendary purchased Nerdist Industries for an undisclosed sum. (And if the number of shows staring Chris Hardwick over the last two years is any indication, I’d say the Nerdist purchase has worked out well for Legendary.)
Legendary said its new digital network will carry content from both Geek & Sundry and Nerdist. It will also manage the things that typically aren’t a video creator’s strong suit (signing ad deals, marketing shows, developing audiences, and handling intellectual property details). Basically, it’s giving promising YouTube channels the sort of resources they need to grow and become viable businesses.
As terms of the deal, Legendary will also work with Day on producing both scripted and non-scripted TV and Web video projects. This is somewhat significant given the rumors that YouTube was offering some of its top content partners the option to launch new series with the purpose of having them picked up on other mediums. YouTube is doing this to keep those content partners happy since its own platform hasn’t proved to be a reliable enough avenue for generating revenue.
One more thing to note is whether the Geek & Sundry channel will continue premiering content on YouTube first (or at the same time it’s released elsewhere, such as Hulu).
Nerdist’s Hardwick recently slammed YouTube for not being “sticky” enough to grab and keep people coming back every week or month for fresh content. As a result, Hardwick announced last week that Nerdist would be debuting content on its website first before uploading it to the YouTube Channel. It’ll be interesting to see if Geek & Sundry follows suit.
We’re reaching out to Legendary and Geek & Sundry for more information and will update this post with any new details.