MediaWorks does Vevo deal - gets offshore ad stream

By Jonathan Underhill

MediaWorks said under the deal it will become Vevo's exclusive premium video sales partner in New Zealand. Photo / Calvin Harris Vevo YouTube
MediaWorks said under the deal it will become Vevo's exclusive premium video sales partner in New Zealand. Photo / Calvin Harris Vevo YouTube

MediaWorks Investments, the broadcaster owned by US private equity firm Oaktree Capital, has inked what it says is an exclusive deal with Vevo that will allow it to sell advertising around streaming video content that globally attracts 18.7 billion views a month.

MediaWorks said under the deal it will become Vevo's exclusive premium video sales partner in New Zealand. It will make the Auckland-based broadcaster New Zealand's "largest supplier of professionally-produced, premium online video content," it said.

New Zealanders watched more than 50 million music video streams via Vevo in July on their mobile phones, tablets, desktop PCs and connected TVs, it said.

According to New York-based Vevo's website, 60 percent of viewers access its content via their mobile phones. Some 850 million hours of content are viewed each month.

Vevo LLC operates an online music and entertainment portal for consumers, advertisers, and content owners, according to Bloomberg. The company offers its content through YouTube VEVO-branded channel, VEVO.com, the service's marquee destination site; and VEVO-branded embedded player.

It has strategic partnerships with Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, EMI Music, Hollywood Records, Walt Disney Records, CBS Interactive Music Group, among others.

"MediaWorks will utilise its sales teams to exclusively bring Vevo opportunities to advertisers, providing the ability to reach Vevo viewers on mobile, tablet, desktop and connected TV," it said in a statement. "The platform will allow demographic and contextual targeting, sponsorship opportunities and exclusive access to new music premiere releases."

This week MediaWorks announced that telecommunications entrepreneur Jack Matthews will become chairman from the end of this month, replacing the current Australia-based chairman, Rod McGeoch, who has led the MediaWorks board since 2013.

Last month it named oOh! Media chairman Michael Anderson as chief executive, replacing Mark Weldon who left the company in May citing the "personal cost" of the role being "too high".

Oaktree Capital is known to be seeking to exit its New Zealand broadcasting investment, having gained full control of MediaWorks last year.

The Los Angeles-based firm became a MediaWorks debt-holder in 2012, buying $125 million of the group's outstanding loans at a reported 50 percent discount, later converted to equity when the media company's lenders seized control and pushed out former owner Ironbridge Capital in 2013.

MediaWorks was then restructured through a receivership, allowing it to break its commitments to buy programmes from international networks and shed liabilities relating to a $22 million trans-Tasman tax dispute. Oaktree went on to buy out fellow shareholders Rabobank, Westpac New Zealand and Royal Bank of Scotland.

Oaktree specialises in buying distressed debt to pursue "unusual opportunities for bargain purchases".

- BusinessDesk

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