Blue Ant Media and Marblemedia merge into one unified studio

(L-R) Matt Hornburg, Michael MacMillan and Mark Bishop

International media company Blue Ant Media and the production and distribution company Marblemedia, announced the merger of the two companies’ production and distribution operations into one unified studio and rights business.

The merger of these operations sees Blue Ant Media acquiring Marblemedia and international sales operation Distribution360, effective 10 August. Marblemedia’s co-CEOs Mark Bishop and Matthew Hornburg will take the helm of this new business, serving as co-presidents, operating from Blue Ant Media’s Toronto office and reporting to Blue Ant Media CEO and co-founder Michael MacMillan. The company has offices in New York, Los Angeles, Miami and London too.

“Marblemedia has long been regarded as one of the most respected production and distribution companies in the unscripted and scripted space, having created huge hits for the biggest streamers and broadcasters in the industry,” MacMillan said. “With Mark and Matt leading our combined studios and rights business, Blue Ant Media is well positioned in its growth as an international media company with production, rights and an established global channels division all operating at scale.”

The combined businesses, which include production companies Marblemedia, Blue Ant Studios, Saloon Media and Look Mom! Productions, in addition to distributors Distribution360 and Blue Ant International, provide an expanded scope of intellectual properties across all genres including scripted comedy and drama, unscripted entertainment, formats, factual and premium docs, live action kids/family and animation.

The super-charged studio is positioned to create bigger creative projects at scale with renowned IP, innovative originals and the world’s best-in-class talent, while expanding its reach with new partnerships with streamers and broadcasters in North America and around the world.

“We are excited to join forces with Michael MacMillan, a trailblazer in our industry known for scaling industry-leading companies,” said Bishop and Hornburg. “Building this new merged production and distribution studio will bring together our talented teams who have a shared vision and belief that original content and rich IP are the greatest differentiator. The appetite for premium content remains strong in the global market, and we can better serve this demand with high-quality content and by working with best-in-class collaborators.”

The development is part of a long-term growth strategy at Blue Ant Media that includes the recent scaling up of the company’s global channels business, including wildlife and nature brand Love Nature’s expansion into 145+ countries with its streaming and cable TV offerings; the launch of eight new FAST channels internationally; and an extensive lineup of premium cable TV offerings in Canada. 

Sam Sniderman will serve as Blue Ant Media’s chief commercial officer, working closely with MacMillan and CFO Robb Chase on business development, partnerships and M&A. Laura Michalchyshyn will continue her duties as chief creative officer, nurturing and attracting talent for the company’s overall business worldwide. Beach House Pictures will continue to operate independently out of Singapore.

Marblemedia is known for delivering premium original unscripted and scripted content including Top 10 Netflix series Blown Away and Drink Masters, A Cut Above (Discovery), Race Against the Tide (CBC) the upcoming Hulu and Prime Video teen comedy Davey and Jonesie’s Locker and the highly anticipated documentary Mr. Dressup: The Magic of Make-Believe (Prime Video), set to have its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. 

Blue Ant Media has carved out a strong position in the market with recent hits including award-winning Canada’s Drag Race (produced with World of Wonder for Bell Media/Crave), Kids in the Hall: Comedy Punks (Prime Video), the ground-breaking new documentary series Casey Anthony: Where the Truth Lies (Peacock), the true-crime hit series, See No Evil (produced with Arrow Media for Investigative Discovery US) and Gary and His Demons (Prime Video, Amazon FreeVee).