Following recently signing MGM and Paramount Pictures to add over 1,000 new movies for rent, Google is once again investing in content for YouTube. Today AllThingsD reported the company is about to invest in Machinima, a network featuring videos about videogames that is pulling in about a billion views monthly.
People familiar with the round tell me it should end up raising more than $30 million, and will value the company at around $190 million, post-funding. No comment from Google or Machinima.
The report explained, unlike its past deals with content creators where it recoups over $100 million in investments through ad sales, the Machinima deal would be the first time Google takes an equity stake in a YouTube content provider:
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The deal may ruffle some feathers among other video makers, some of whom already complain that YouTube favors Machinima and a handful of prominent content partners. And people familiar with the funding round tell me that at one point Google considered routing the investment through its Google Ventures arm to try to allay those concerns.
There is no official word from Google or Machinima on the deal, but AllThingsD said the company once considered handling it through Google Ventures due to concerns it gives special treatment to Machinima and certain content providers. Machinima’s YouTube network alone currently sits at 26.63 billion views.