OMNIVISION ENTERTAINMENT LAUNCHED BY MY DAMN CHANNEL FOUNDERS; SIGNS INTERNATIONAL PHENOMENON SARA MARIA FORSBERG / SMOUKAHONTAS TO MULTI-FACETED DEAL
OMNIVISION ENTERTAINMENT LAUNCHED BY
MY DAMN CHANNEL FOUNDERS; SIGNS INTERNATIONAL PHENOMENON SARA MARIA FORSBERG / SMOUKAHONTAS TO MULTI-FACETED DEAL
‘What Languages Sound Like to Foreigners’ Star Scheduled to make
United States TV Debut April 7 on Ellen
NEW YORK – April 4, 2014 – My Damn Channel founders Rob Barnett and Warren Chao today announced the launch of Omnivision Entertainment reflecting an integrated, united vision of traditional, digital and social media as the company evolves into a multi-platform, 360° entertainment company. Also announced today is the signing of international phenomenon Sara Maria Forsberg, who has taken the world by storm with the “What Languages Sound Like to Foreigners” video that debuted on her Smoukahontas Official YouTube channel four weeks ago, and has quickly surpassed 10 million views. Omnivision Entertainment will be her exclusive worldwide manager in partnership with YRC Finland Oy, pursuing advertising, online, film, TV, theatrical, print and other opportunities. Forsberg is scheduled to make her United States television debut with an April 7 appearance on Ellen, and is also planning to launch her music career with a major record label.
The announcement comes on the heels of the development of the company’s first television show for HLN. Omnivision Entertainment will continue to produce and distribute premium content for screens of all sizes, including popular and award-winning original comedy series for which My Damn Channel has become known, and featuring emerging and established talent, and currently available on MyDamnChannel.com and the My Damn Channel Comedy Network.
Additionally, the re-launched company is expanding its branded entertainment and talent development efforts. The first major move in this expansion is the new deal with Forsberg, a multi-talented, 19-year old rising star who has created some of the most intriguing content to recently appear online. Since premiering “What Languages Sound like to Foreigners,” her videos – including a sequel and “One Girl, 14 Genres” – have earned her an additional 6.5 million views and growing interest from fans, brands and the media around the globe.
“Sara loves to work with people who have all of their heart in the game and who want to make quality over quantity,” said Johannes Ylinen, Sara’s manager and CEO, YRC Finland. “She is a precious diamond with true talent, and a key to her success will be coordinated, cooperative relationships that allow her to realize her full star potential. I personally think it is amazing to see how Warren and the Omnivision team, in addition to this deal, are committed to supporting Sara’s musical career and giving her the freedom to pursue this interest, alongside her role at Omnivision, to further showcase her many talents.”
As part of the multi-year deal, Forsberg will start working for Omnivision from Pietarsaari, Finland, but hopes to eventually relocate to Los Angeles. Omnivision Entertainment will work closely with Forsberg to co-create content to be available on existing and new YouTube channels, MyDamnChannel.com and other platforms starting next month, and is also serving as her liaison for branded entertainment and sponsorship partnerships with leading advertisers. Omnivision is also partnering with Forberg’s managers Ylinen and Jere Hietala on worldwide opportunities in all formats. Additionally, Forsberg is extremely passionate about singing and songwriting, and both Omnivision and YRC Finland are supporting her soon-to-be-announced record label deal, which will further enhance her worldwide advertising and entertainment appeal.
Chao, who led the efforts to recruit Forsberg, remarked: “Sara’s incredible talent and millions of viewers and passionate fans have us awestruck and grateful for the opportunity to work together. YouTube and the internet have made the world both smaller in connecting new friends, but larger in bringing together a global audience. Sara is so perfect for Omnivision’s growing multimedia platform, spanning online and television, and we will devote our resources and network to both help her career and inspire others to collaborate with us.”
“Warren and I both left traditional media to build a major media company focused on the future of entertainment,” added Barnett, who was president, programming at CBS Radio and an executive at MTV and VH1 prior to launching My Damn Channel. “Seven years later, traditional, digital and social media companies are forging powerful partnerships with a united vision to earn passionate fans and build thriving businesses together.”
Barnett will retain his current position of Founder/CEO and Chao has been elevated to the title Co-Founder/President of the renamed company.
About Omnivision Entertainment
Omnivision Entertainment (www.OmnivisionEntertainment.com) is a multi-platform, 360° entertainment company launched in 2014, with offices in New York and Los Angeles. It partners with traditional and digital media companies, established and emerging talent, and leading brands, to co-create premium content for screens of all sizes. Omnivision Entertainment includes production, talent development and branded entertainment divisions, and a distribution network that empowers cross-promotion across its owned-and-operated online channels, YouTube and other online, mobile and IPTV platforms. Founded in 2007 as My Damn Channel by Rob Barnett and Warren Chao, Omnivision Entertainment has produced hundreds of hours of original programming, including comedy, music, unscripted reality and live variety programming. The Company's investors include Intuitive Venture Partners, Shea Ventures, Okapi Venture Capital and Sunshine Wireless.
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The Lippin Group