Machinima Names Former Ovation TV Exec Chad Gutstein New CEO

By | Monday March 31, 2014 @ 10:35am PDT

machinimaChad Gutstein, formerly COO at the Ovation television network, has been tapped as CEO at Machinima, the latest move as the online video service revamps itself as a player in original content. Gutstein will spearhead Machinima’s network and brand strategy and oversee programming, sales, marketing, strategic partnerships, product development, and diversification of distribution and revenue. At Ovation, Gutstein grew the arts network’s reach to nearly 55 million households from 5M, booting its original programming plans significantly last fall after Ovation was dropped by Time Warner Cable at the end of 2012 in an effort to control costs. “Machinima is ready for the next level, and Chad has all of the unique qualities we were seeking in a new CEO to bring us there,” said Machinima co-founder and chairman Allen DeBevoise in a release today announcing the hire. “His fresh and respected outlook, deep knowledge of the TV and digital business, and proven track record will all benefit Machinima as we enter our next phase of growth. Chad’s most recent experience building Ovation’s brand and audience, and translating the value of its audience and programming to TV distributors and tier one advertisers, will help Machinima exponentially accelerate its mission.”

Machinima axed 30% of its work force earlier this month and soon after named ex-Fox Networks boss Tony Vinciquerra to its Board of Directors, the body to which Gutstein will report. Machinima also recently raised $67M in financing from the likes of Warner Bros (which led funding with $18M), Google Capital and Redpoint Ventures as the service looks to find ways to make money outside of its partnership with YouTube, which takes about 45% of the ad revenue it sells. Read More »

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Machinima Banks On Original Scripted Content With ‘Enormous’ Sci-Fi Web Series: Video

By | Thursday March 20, 2014 @ 10:23am PDT

Machinima logoYouTube network Machinima has unveiled sci-fi short Enormous, a live-action pilot to which Machinima will give a series commitment if its 10.9M YouTube fans demand it. (Watch it below.) Ceren Lee stars as a resistance fighter in a postapocalyptic future in which massive insect-like monsters have invaded Earth. Enormous is the second of three original shorts Machinima is debuting this month, each with the potential for a series greenlight, marking an essential next step as Machinima looks to evolve from YouTube video aggregator to content producer.

Machinima’s recent $18M investment from Warner Bros and yesterday’s addition of ex-Fox Networks CEO Tony Vinciquerra to its board are signs of its transition from programming other creators’ work to owning its IP. Here’s how this one came together as the company began seeking original content.
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Machinima Adds Former Fox Networks Group Boss Tony Vinciquerra To Board

By | Wednesday March 19, 2014 @ 11:01am PDT

Tony VinciquerraMachinima is continuing its revamp after axing 30% of its work force earlier this month, saying today that Tony Vinciquerra has joined its Board of Directors. It’s a pretty good a sign that the online video service … Read More »

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Warner Bros Leads $18M Financing Effort For Machinima

By | Monday March 10, 2014 @ 12:21pm PDT

machinimaThis was expected, and needed, as evidenced by last week’s announcement that the online video service that targets gamers (read: teenaged boys and young men) axed about 30% of its workforce. But it’s interesting to see how much today’s release plays up the potential partnerships between Machinima and Warner Bros. Machinima CEO Allen DeBevoise says that there are “myriad opportunities” to connect their audiences. And Warner Bros Television Group President of Business and Strategy Craig Hunegs says he’s “excited” about the ability “to reach new audiences, create new original content, and discover new talent.” Don’t be surprised if they look for projects outside of Google’s YouTube, which collects about 45% of the ad revenues it sells for Machinima. No word here about the terms of the financing arrangement, although the companies say that current investors MK Capital, Redpoint Ventures, and Google Capital have also upped their stake. Machinima is said to have raised $67M, including $35M from Google. Here’s today’s official announcement:

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Machinima Lays Off 42 Employees As It Turns To YouTube To Sell Ads

By | Thursday March 6, 2014 @ 11:56am PST

machinimaToday’s announcement and other financial moves reportedly in the works for the gaming-oriented online service underscore how hard it is for channels to make money at YouTube. Machinima – which describes itself as “the number one global video entertainment network for young males” — says today that the layoffs, hitting 30% of the workforce, are part of its “restructuring in and around its sales organization” as it leans on its “longstanding partnership with YouTube to drive media sales.” But it also comes as it lines up $18M in funding from a group led by Warner Bros, website Re/code reports, citing “people familiar with the transaction.” Last week The Wall Street Journal reported that Warner Bros was mulling the possibility of investing as much as $15M in the online video operation. The numbers are a far cry from the amounts approaching $70M that Machinima was said to be hoping to secure last year. One of the problems for YouTube services like Machinima is that Google takes about 45% of the ad revenue it sells, as well as much of the inventory. Read More »

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Machinima Cuts 10% Of Workforce In Restructuring

By | Wednesday September 18, 2013 @ 12:57pm PDT

The global video network that runs YouTube‘s top entertainment channel said today it is eliminating 22 of its 206 employees. Machinima said it plans to make an increased commitment to programming and distribution and its YouTube network, and … Read More »

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Paramount Insurge, Machinima Team On Black Market Web Series ‘Chop Shop’

By | Monday July 1, 2013 @ 10:33am PDT

EXCLUSIVE: Paramount’s Insurge label is partnering with online network Machinima on Chop Shop, a new web series set in LA’s black market car theft underworld. The early 2014 release follows a pair of pro car thieves … Read More »

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Rob Jones Leaves Machinima To Handle Digital Strategy For Edelman

By | Monday March 11, 2013 @ 2:58pm PDT

EXCLUSIVE: The move shows that Edelman Digital is stepping up its effort to introduce clients to gaming and YouTube videos. Rob Jones had been VP Gaming Programming at Machinima, one of YouTube’s most popular channels that … Read More »

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Ridley Scott Partners With Machinima To Develop Episodic Sci-Fi Web Programming

By | Monday March 11, 2013 @ 1:44pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Ridley Scott and his commercials production company RSA will team with Machinima to produce 12 short films that will focus on science fiction content that might be grown into feature franchises. Machinima is the top global video entertainment network for males aged 18-34, reaching more than 2.6 billion views monthly. It is the top-rated entertainment channel on YouTube.

Despite turning 75, Scott continues to have an appetite for cutting-edge stuff and emerging technologies. He won’t direct any of these short films but will be a hands-on executive producer with RSA president Jules Daly. With Machinima, they will select directing clients of RSA and figure out what stories to tell.

Machinima has provided a strong springboard for genre content on the web. The network distributed Mortal Kombat: Legacy, which revived the moribund Mortal Kombat franchise. It started with a short film and is now in its second season and led to a feature film in development. Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn premiered last fall and the series has received more than 3.2 million views. Read More »

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