Posted on June 12, 2019 by staff

Keywords Studios acquires US accessibility firm


A listed Irish video game firm has acquired Descriptive Video Works from its founder, Diane Johnson.

Keywords Studios, the international technical services provider to the global video games industry, bought the company from Johnson, a highly respected executive in the broadcasting industry in North America.

Founded in 2003, Descriptive Video Works provides audio description services and video description services to the Northern American market, primarily to help those with vision to hear a description of the visuals during pre-recorded and live television shows.

The total consideration for the acquisition is $3.2m (Canadian), of which $2.24m (Canadian) is being paid in cash on completion and the rest through the issue of 35,560 new ordinary shares in Keywords.

Descriptive Video Works has worked with providers in Canada and the US such as NBC Universal, CBS, CBC, Viacom and A&E Networks and is an approved Netflix Post-Production Partner (NP3) for English audio description services.

“We are delighted to welcome Diane and the talented DVW team to the Keywords family,” said Andrew Day, CEO of Keywords Studios.

“We are looking forward to supporting the accessibility needs of the film, TV and video-games industry as these markets continue to develop.

“Our voice over studios around the world will be looking at ways in which they can work with Diane and her team to bring audio description production to European, South American and Asian markets.

“The acquisition of DVW also provides Keywords with its first studio in Vancouver, British Columbia, a city with very active involvement in film, television and video games and we hope to grow our presence there accordingly.”

Dublin-headquartered Keyword Studios’ revenues grew to €250.8m in 2018, a 66 per cent growth.

Diane Johnson, CEO of Descriptive Video Works said she was pleased to be joining the firm.

“I truly hope that by joining forces with Keywords and taking advantage of their international reach and market leading position, we’ll be able to offer accessible solutions for the blind and visual impaired audience to a much broader client base,” she said.