‘5-Minute Crafts’ Owner TheSoul Publishing Acquires Majority Stake In Underscore Talent

‘5-Minute Crafts’ Owner TheSoul Publishing Acquires Majority Stake In Underscore Talent

TheSoul Publishing, the publisher behind the viral 5-Minute Crafts YouTube channel, has acquired a majority stake in the management firm Underscore Talent, the companies said on Tuesday.

TheSoul and Underscore Talent will continue to operate independently, though Underscore Talent co-CEOs Reza Izad and Dan Weinstein will join TheSoul Publishing’s board, while TheSoul’s vp content distribution, Victor Potrel, and North America general counsel, Iva Rukelj, will join Underscore Talent’s board.

Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, TheSoul Publishing CEO Arthur Mamedov and Underscore’s Izad and Weinstein said the acquisition is meant to match TheSoul’s technical platform and digital-first production arm with Underscore’s roster of talent.

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“We want to build an ecosystem where both our brands and individual creators can benefit from all … that we can offer,” Mamedov said. “We’re on a mission to ensure that all creators have access to optimal production and distribution.”

Based in Cyprus, TheSoul Publishing launched in 2016 and runs massively popular YouTube channels like Bright Side (44.2 million subscribers), Avocado Couple (11.3 million subscribers) and the aforementioned 5-Minute Crafts (78.1 million subscribers). Videos from these channels are published across multiple social platforms and, particularly in the case of 5-Minute Crafts, some of the more absurd videos showcasing unusual “hacks” regularly go viral. As of October, TheSoul crossed 200 billion views for its content posted on social media and has a combined 1.5 billion followers for its brands across YouTube, TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, Snap and Pinterest, according to the company.

“As we were building out our distribution business, we thought the marriage of the two would be really powerful for us to add just a much stronger suite of services for our creators,” Izad said of the tech TheSoul has developed to run its brands. “In one fell swoop, we’re going to get five, six, seven years of capabilities. … It would have taken us a lot longer maybe even than that to develop it.”

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, though Mamedov described the purchase as “the largest investment TheSoul has done to date.”