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DreamWorks spends millions on teen YouTube network

Animation studio looking for online swamp for Shrek

Two teenage girls - one whispering in other's ear

DreamWorks Animation has inked a deal to slurp teen YouTube network AwesomenessTV for up to $150m.

The firm said it will hand over $33m in cash straight up for the network and make additional cash payments of up to $117m if certain agreed earnings targets are met in 2014 and 2015.

Both DreamWorks and AwesomenessTV hinted that the former's top-selling movie characters from the likes of Shrek and Kung Fu Panda could become available online.

"The incredible opportunity to take all the resources of this amazing global brand with beloved character franchises and create a dedicated family channel has extraordinary potential — I can't wait to get started," said AwesomenessTV founder and chief Brian Robbins.

AwesomenessTV is a network of 55,000 YouTube channels, with 14 million subscribers watching its talk shows, comedy and reality series aimed at teenagers.

The network is one of the those upon which YouTube has spent more than $100m promoting in the last couple of years.

DreamWorks is taking on Robbins, who was exec producer on popular TV shows like Smallville, to help the firm develop a digital family channel, a project that DreamWorks has been talking about since last year. ®

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