March 27, 2014 / 11:49 AM / 5 years ago

ProSieben buys stake in U.S. online video company

The logo of Germany's biggest commercial broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 Media AG is pictured in front of the headquarters in Unterfoehring, near Munich February 26, 2014. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 has bought a 20 percent stake in U.S. online video maker Collective Digital Studios (CDS) to win more viewers in the global video market.

CDS produces, distributes, and markets videos via websites such as Google’s YouTube and generates almost a billion video views per month with 600 channels and more than 100 million subscribers, ProSieben said in a statement on Thursday.

Its formats include “The Annoying Orange,” “Epic Meal Time” and “FreddieWong/Video Game High School.”

ProSieben, whose own Studio71 has more than 100 million video views per month, did not disclose how much it was paying for the stake in CDS.

With consumers increasingly using smartphones and tablet computers to watch videos and listen to music, broadcasters such as ProSieben and its rival RTL Group are expanding their online media offerings to win viewers.

On Wednesday RTL Group owner Bertelsmann said RTL saw its online video views jump 143 percent to 16.8 billion in 2013, up from 6.9 billion in 2012.

ProSieben has said it expects the amount of time that consumers on average spend watching online videos every day to double to 40 minutes by 2018 from a current 20 minutes. This will come on top of regular TV watching.

Anticipating this trend ProSieben set up its own multichannel network, Studio71, in August last year to bundle its Internet production activities.

Reporting by Harro ten Wolde; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle

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