Studio71 lands investment from TF1, Mediaset

Studio71, the global media company for creators and ProSiebenSat.1 Group’s global premium multi-channel network, today announced that TF1 Group, France’s most popular domestic television network, and Mediaset, Italy’s largest commercial broadcaster, have become minority shareholders in the company with a combined investment of EUR 53 million at a valuation of approximately EUR 400 million. ProSiebenSat.1 now retains about 70% of the shares in Studio71. The MCN will use the proceeds to fund additional premium content and IP as well as further territory expansion to become the top global premium digital video network for creators.

As part of the transaction, Studio71 will expand into new territories, establishing local operations in France and Italy. It will acquire a strategic minority interest in premium MCN, Finder Studios, of which the TF1 Group is the controlling shareholder, and will partner with Mediaset to launch Studio71 in the Italian market. Each entity will feature content from the broadcasters’ most successful TV shows as well as content from Studio71’s top creators.

Christof Wahl, Member of the Executive Board, Digital, & COO ProSiebenSat.1 Group: “The partnership with TF1 Group and Mediaset gives us access to key European markets where the online video market is just now picking up momentum and promising significant potential. With the united marketing power of our media companies, we have an attractive ecosystem to promote our content creators and create more value for our advertising partners.”

The business model for this expansion will follow the success of Studio71 in Germany. The company brings together ProSiebenSat.1 Group’s TV content including hit shows like Germany’s The Voice, The Voice Kids and Galileo and top online content from the country’s leading creators including Germany’s #1 gamer Gronkh, as well as Felix von der Laden, Sarazar and Kelly MissesVlog. The result is a premium digital video offering that is unique in the marketplace. This is attracting top advertising partners for both media sales and branded content.

Reza Izad, Chief Executive Officer of Studio71: “We strive to partner with other forward-thinking media companies to create and distribute the world’s best content. Through these partnerships with TF1 and Mediaset, we are expanding the Studio71 brand into new markets, offering consumers the best in TV and digital where they want it and providing advertisers access to highly engaged audiences across all digital and social media touchpoints. We are eager to replicate this model around the world, further bolstering our strong foothold in the U.S. and Europe.” 

Olivier Abecassis, Vice President Innovation and Digital at the TF1 Group: “This deal is absolutely in line with the strategy being driven by TF1’s CEO Gilles Pélisson, and with the Group’s new ambitions in digital. By taking a stake in Studio71, the TF1 group is positioning itself in the global digital ecosystem alongside two of Europe’s leading media groups. And by becoming the operator of Studio71 France, we are bolstering our presence in multi-platform premium online video, and our status as a key partner for emerging web creatives.”

Pierpaolo Cervi, Chief Digital Officer of Mediaset Spa: “We join a digital global partner like Studio71- with a deep broadcaster DNA - in order to build a leading player in the Italian market for the editorial management and monetization of digital talents, to maximize the distribution of Mediaset TV contents on internet and to boost synergies between TV and web.”

Studio71 was formed by the merger of Collective Digital Studio (founded by Reza Izad, Michael Green and Dan Weinstein), and ProSiebenSat.1 Group’s Studio71 (founded by Sebastian Weil and Ronald Horstman). Studio71 is currently the fourth largest MCN in the world generating more than six billion monthly views on YouTube alone. The company is a leading premium producer and distributor of short-form content with deals with Facebook, Watchable, Go90, Liberty Global, YouTube Red, ZDF, Canal Plus, and many others. Its creators include Lilly Singh a.k.a IISuperwomanII, Rhett & Link, Rachel Levin,Shay Mitchell, Matthew Santoro, Epic Meal Time, Roman Atwood, Family Fun Pack and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

Studio71’s investment in Finder Studios is subject to approval by the German Federal Cartel Office and The Austrian Federal Competition Authority. Raine represented Studio71 on this transaction.