Saturday, February 22, 2020

Entertainment

Karma explores how today’s fragmented entertainment landscape is disrupting legacy media business models in terms of development, financing, production, distribution, and promotion, and the effects and implications on popular culture and society. 

Make.TV’s Tricia Iboshi: “We’re the bridge that allows them to bring in other third party live feeds into the master control room.”

Perspectives: Opinions from our network of advisors, investors, operators and analysts on the risks and opportunities they see. Make.TV is seeking to do to the video acquisitions business what Napster did to the music industry nearly two decades ago, which is to make widely available...

Peter Cosco: “Frothy Environment” Continues for Deal-Making in Media Startups

Strategic Investors: Profiles of investors with strategies to consider. As an investment bank specializing in the media sector, Palazzo is navigating stormy seas. M&A activity is brisk and there has been no shortage of IPO activity, with both Pinterest and Zoom going public in April. Yet, the...

Slow Shift: WNBA to Appear in NBA 2K Gaming Franchise for the First Time

It took two decades, but the women of the WNBA are finally taking to the NBA 2K basketball court as a part of NBA 2K20, a video game that Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. will release Sept. 6. This marks...

The Spring League’s Brian Woods: “What is it you’re doing different than the NFL to grab people’s attention?”

Perspectives: Opinions from our network of advisors, investors, operators and analysts on the risks and opportunities they see. Fluctuating NFL broadcast ratings have spurred an increase in the number of independent football leagues around the United States. Brian Woods is the CEO of The Spring...

Instagrammable “Experiums” Connect People with Brands, Social Media — Not Each Other

It’s been three years since Museum of Ice Cream -- what might be considered the case study for pop-up Instagram havens -- opened its sugary doors. Now, co-founders Maryellis Bunn, called  “Millennial Walt Disney” by New York Magazine, and Manish Vora are...

Peter Thiel Seen as Voice Advising Zuckerberg on Political Ad Policies

Karma_News Summary_Thiel Facebook
A billionaire libertarian, responsible for co-founding PayPal and bankrupting Gawker Media, may have Mark Zuckerberg’s ear as the Facebook CEO navigates policies on accepting political advertisements.    Peter Thiel, Facebook board member and its first outside investor, is advising Zuckerberg...

As Loneliness Hits Crisis Level, BetaDwarf Gets $6.6 Million For “Friendshipping” Games

Karma_News Summary_BetaDwarf
Critics of online games say they isolate people and foster loneliness, which researchers have tied to a range of social problems.   But Copenhagen-based games creator BetaDwarf says its popular “friendshipping” games Forced, Forced Showdown and most recently, Minion Masters,...

Trufan Acquires SocialRank as Demand for Audience Info Soars

Karma_News Summary_Trufan acquires SocialRank
Trufan, which helps companies market to niche audiences, has purchased audience analytics firm SocialRank to bolster its position as a social intelligence platform. Swish Goswami, Trufan’s 22-year old founder and CEO, said that the combination will bolster his company’s...

Epsilon Unit Attracts Publicis, Goldman

On Our Radar: Deals we are paying attention to for their impact on industry. Alliance Data Systems Corp.’s Epsilon marketing unit has one confirmed and one reported bidder, and the Plano, Texas-based firm could choose one as early as this week, according to a Bloomberg report. The...

ByteDance Uses Online Film Premiere to Gain in Streaming Rivalry With Tencent

Karma_News Summary_Streaming wars
ByteDance raised the stakes in its streaming rivalry with Tencent, with the first-ever premier of a free film on its social media platforms, which was seen more than a half-billion times during the Lunar New Year.  ByteDance last month...

One Year After a “Crazy Idea,” Impact-Focused Film Festival Kicks Off in New York

Karma_News Summary_ESG & Impact Forum Film Festival
This time a year ago, Matt Ackermann had what he calls a “crazy idea.” This idea became ESG & Impact Forum, which opened with a film festival on Wednesday showcasing 12 short documentaries and social-impact solutions from around the...

Streaming Services Lead Record Labels to Best Year Ever

On Our Radar: Deals we are paying attention to for their impact on industry. Tuesday was a good day for the recording industry and music streaming services, which are fast becoming the standard way people pay for music. The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry...

Facebook’s Video Platform “Watch” Draws Advertisers Wary of YouTube Pitfalls

Advertisers are warming up to Facebook’s nearly two-year-old Watch video platform as they seek an alternative to YouTube, whose problems with sexual and violent content may put millions of advertising dollars at risk.  An unidentified media buyer told the...

ScreenCraft’s John Rhodes on the State of Hollywood: “We live in a weird spot right now.”

Perspectives: Opinions from our network of advisors, investors, operators and analysts on the risks and opportunities they see. Open Screenplay, a new screenwriting platform, launched earlier this year with hopes to democratize the screenwriting process. The Toronto-based startup has already picked up backing from several...

Nike May Risk Customer Alienation with Data-Focused Acquisition

With Nike’s recent acquisition of Celect, an AI-driven predictive analytics company, the retail giant has the potential to transform its business from shoes and clothing to data. But privacy pitfalls lie ahead, and how customers feel about their buying patterns being monitored...

Rockwell Shah on Calm: “If they execute well, it’s…massively undervalued.”

Perspectives: Opinions from our network of advisors, investors, operators and analysts on the risks and opportunities they see. Humans rely on apps for everything. But what first started out as tools for work or increasing efficiency, have now turned into tools for exactly the opposite:...

CAUSEBOX: An Ethical Model for Subscription Box Success

Karma_Affiliate_Causebox
Until relatively recently, the term “subscription box” brought to mind those “Cheese of the Month” clubs that sent a brick of Brie or bleu to your doorstep once a month for a year. But since 2011, the model has evolved well beyond...

Another Reason to Disconnect: Social Media Promoting Bad Self-Image, Even Among Healthy Users

You’ve seen them on Facebook and other social media -- posts by uber-fit people doing super-athletic things. You may want to look away, as it seems those photos and blurbs may not be great for your relationships and self-esteem.

Industry Report: Podcast Advertising

Key Takeaways: ● Podcast advertising is growing. Revenues are projected to reach $659 million by 2020, compared with $169 million in 2016. ● Measurement difficulties have slowed industry growth — but analytics are improving. ● The audio advertising market will transform from a startup-friendly market to one...

Why Disney’s Fox Acquisition Could Be Bad News for Streaming Services

Karma_Opinion_Disney
Perspectives: Opinions from our network of advisors, investors, operators and analysts on the risks and opportunities they see. On Wednesday, The Walt Disney Co. finally completed its $71.3 billionacquisition of 21st Century Fox. This concludes a nearly year-and-a-half long M&A soap opera and leaves the media landscape...

Tencent to Acquire Norway’s Funcom, As ByteDance Rivalry Moves Into Gaming

Tencent is feeling challenged by ByteDance, grabbing every opportunity to go after the TikTok publisher.  In the latest salvo, China’s Tencent is buying Norwegian games developer Funcom, owner of popular games including Conan Exile, for $148 million, the companies...

Streamroot’s Tech Aims to Improve “Viewing Experience”, Reach Wider Audiences

Delays and interruptions in the delivery of content  mean the loss of viewers, which can deeply hurt the financial performance of media companies. But Streamroot believes that its video-delivery systems can eliminate these problems and improve streaming quality...

Wellspring Scores a Perfect Game With Lucky Strike Purchase

On Our Radar: Deals we are paying attention to for their impact on industry. New York-based private equity firm Wellspring Capital Management has bought Lucky Strike Entertainment, it announced on April 4. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Lucky Strike’s outlets include bowling lanes, live music...

‘Netflix for Podcasts’ Aims to Address Subscription Fatigue

Danish podcasting startup Podimo has attracted investor interest as it seeks to become the “Netflix for podcasts.” The company raised about $6.7 million in an investing round led by Germany’s e.ventures and Denmark’s Heartcore, ahead of the product’s launch later this year. Podimo...

Yubo Lands $12.3 Million to Put the Social Back in Social Media for Gen Z

Karma_News Summary_Yubo
With the cascade of likes, algorithms and influencers, today’s social media can feel anything but social for many users. Startup Yubo says it has an answer, an app that seeks to “reinvent online friendships” for Generation Z. The Paris-based...

Apple Rethinks Entertainment, News, Personal Finance Services

Perspectives: Opinions from our network of advisors, investors, operators and analysts on the risks and opportunities they see. It’s been almost eight years since writer Walter Isaacson wrote in his biography of Steve Jobs that the late entrepreneur said he had “finally cracked it.” He...

CEC Entertainment Returns to NYSE Following Leo Holdings Merger

On Our Radar: Deals we are paying attention to for their impact on industry. CEC Entertainment Inc., the parent company of family-friendly restaurant chain Chuck E. Cheese and Peter Piper Pizza, announced on April 8 it would come back to the New York Stock Exchange following its...

John Rhodes: “I recognized an opportunity to create a more meritocratic system for identifying talent.”

Sound Businesses: Profiles of companies and business models we are keeping an eye on. There’s no business like show business: In 2018, film revenue hit all-time highs of $11.9 billion in North America and $41.7 billion globally, signalling that there are more opportunities than ever for emerging...

Pinterest, The Knot to Stop Promoting Wedding Venues That Were Once Slave Plantations

Karma_News Summary_Pinterest and The Knot
Two of the biggest U.S. wedding websites -- The Knot and Pinterest -- are taking a step into the 21st century and embracing a policy to stop promoting wedding venues that had once been slave plantations to avoid glamorizing the past.  

Vivendi’s Canal+ Acquires African Film Studio ROK to Help Cut Losses in France

Vivendi’s Canal+ acquired Nigeria’s largest film production house ROK, expanding into Africa’s growing “Nollywood” film industry while it fights rising competition at home. The deal by France’s pay-TV giant Canal+, according to Reuters, is the first international acquisition in Nollywood.
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