The Austin, Texas-based entertainment company Rooster Teeth has announced a $2.5 million dollar fund to work with animation creators to develop original online series. The announcement was made this weekend at RTX Austin, the fan convention devoted to Rooster Teeth’s work.

“We’re looking for like-minded creators who have a good track record of producing consistently,” Matt Hullum, co-founder and CEO of Rooster Teeth, told Digiday. “It definitely helps if they have an archive of past material our audience can watch to get up to speed immediately, but overall, we’re looking for folks who are ambitious.”

The first series to be produced using money from the development fund is Motor Knight by the Youtube channel Flashgitz. Another series, Spikeface, which we reported on earlier this week, is also supported by the development fund.

Here are the creators of Motor Knight explaining their project:

Rooster Teeth has scored notable successes with animation content, including hits like RWBY and Red vs. Blue, and now it is aggressively expanding its slate of animation programming for its subscription service Rooster Teeth First, which has over 250,000 paid subscribers.

In addition to the development fund, Rooster Teeth will start encouraging animators to join its talent network, where the company plans to help creators grow and diversify their revenue streams. It’s a similar model to what they already offer gaming channel partners like Cow Chop and Sugar Pine 7. “The partnerships are modular deals that involve some combination of a library content license for the Rooster Teeth app, development of new projects, merch sales in the Rooster Teeth store, podcast ad sales, brand integration sales, and more,” Hullum told Digiday.

While the development fund is great news, you’ll have to pardon us if we’re a little skeptical about Rooster Teeth’s partner plans. Countless other companies have launched animation networks for online creators over the past decade (think Channel Frederator), and every single one of them came up empty in terms of developing something that could provide a reliable income stream to any sizeable number of creators. Perhaps Rooster Teeth, which has already proven itself to be a savvy digital-first company, will finally figure out the model that works.

It also doesn’t hurt that Rooster Teeth has deep pockets. They’re owned by Otter Media, which is a joint-venture between AT&T-Time Warner and Chernin Group. It’s widely expected that AT&T will soon buy out Chernin’s stake, making Rooster Teeth a fully-owned AT&T-Time Warner subsidiary and putting it under the same corporate umbrella as Cartoon Network, Warner Bros. Animation, and DC Comics.

Amid Amidi

Amid Amidi

Amid Amidi is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Cartoon Brew.

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