Chernin Group LLC, Comcast Corp.’s venture arm and the digital unit of advertising firm WPP PLC are investing in Fullscreen Inc., a startup that helps YouTube video creators make money from their clips.
Fullscreen, which supports more than 15,000 aspiring video stars making up about 2 percent of YouTube’s page views, will use the investment to expand in the U.S. and abroad.
Begun in 2011 by George Strompolos, a former manager at Google Inc.’s YouTube, Fullscreen creates analytics software for online-video makers and helps sell ads to major brands including McDonald’s Corp. and General Electric Co. The company, which keeps a portion of the revenue generated by ads, is seeking to benefit from a boom that’s gathering steam as more people use handheld computers and high-speed wireless-Web connections to create and share online video.
“I had the crazy idea that I could build a media company on the Internet with YouTube as our starting point, in partnership with thousands of creators around the world,” Strompolos said.
The company has about 160 employees in its offices at Culver Studios in Los Angeles, a historic movie lot where “Gone With the Wind” and “Citizen Kane” were filmed.
Among the most popular video creators working with Fullscreen are Lindsey Stirling, a dubstep violinist whose “Crystallize” video has been viewed more than 62 million times; and Devin Super Tramp, an extreme-stunts filmmaker whose “World’s Largest Rope Swing” clip has more than 20 million views.
Fullscreen also manages the official YouTube channels for NBC Entertainment, and is seeking to push into creating its own lineup of Web videos, Strompolos said.
“In the world of independent video, creators are expected to do everything,” he said. “We try to take as much of that off of their plate so that they can continue to be creative.”
The company plans to use the funding to expand beyond the U.S., where about half of its content creators reside, Strompolos said. Fullscreen plans to open offices in Brazil, India, Mexico, Japan and Russia over the next two years, he said.