The ol’ college try: Cheddar buys Rate My Professors, doubling down on students

Video streaming company Cheddar bought Rate My Professors to make extra sure that college students know it exists.


October 26, 2018

Cheddar, the streaming news network that has somehow earned the even-cheesier moniker “CNBC for millennials,” bought Rate My Professors, a platform to rate college professors.

For Cheddar, which bills itself as a “post-cable network,” the purchase is part of a plan to attract students and young viewers to its brand.

Cheddar goes back to school

After raising $22m in March, the Cheesy Channel acquired MTV Networks on Campus from its parent company, Viacom (which also owned Rate My Professor).

In a fit of inspired creativity, Cheddar partnered with 600 US colleges, and rebranded MTV’s college video distribution network, MTVU, as (drumroll, please…) CheddarU.

Now, Cheddar hopes to incorporate Rate My Professors (which receives 125k monthly submissions from its 6m users) into its CheddarU network, so students can bash their professors on the same platform they get only the sharpest of cheese content from.

Things are grate at Cheddar…

But they could always be better. In July, Cheddar forecast $25m in 2018 revenue: But after the Professor announcement, CEO Jon Steinberg updated the estimate to $30m (last year the company did $11.3m).

But as of this past December, the company was still not profitable

Since Cheddar doesn’t make money from advertising, it relies on revenue from subscriptions on its paid channel and carrier agreements with distributors of its free content — making a wide distribution network vitally important.

“Everyone loves Cheddar… right?!”

In just the past year, the company has partnered with Twitch, Youtube TV, Hulu, and Snapchat to distribute its content. 

To expand the Cheddar-verse even further, the company also added a general news channel (an addition to its original business brand) and launched a European division.

So far, Cheddar’s aggressive partnerships are paying the bills. But since Cheddar’s partner-based business model is built on the strength of its brand, the company better hope its viewers (60% of whom were under 35, even before its college push) don’t lose their taste for the cheeeeeze.

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