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. 

The Power of Toddlers: Why Streaming Giants Need to Take Kids’ Content Seriously

Perspectives: Opinions from our network of advisors, investors, operators and analysts on the risks and opportunities they see. Netflix has made only four acquisitions in its history: the comic book company MillarWorld, Albuquerque’s ABQ Studios, the historic Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood, and now small children’s...

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...

Why Consolidation Could Ruin Hulu and Other Streaming Services

Perspectives: Opinions from our network of advisors, investors, operators and analysts on the risks and opportunities they see. The tongue-in-cheek tagline of Hulu’s first national ad campaign, “we’re about to ruin TV for you,” may ring true for TV fans — but not in the...

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...

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...

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...

Luminary’s Launch Serves as a Warning to Future Podcast Challengers

Perspectives: Opinions from our network of advisors, investors, operators and analysts on the risks and opportunities they see. It has been a rough freshman week for podcasting’s first $100 million VC darling. Luminary, the buzzy new startup heralded as “the Netflix of podcasts,” launched on April...

Merrill Brown: Ads Won’t Save Media Companies, But They’re Still Part of a Diversified Revenue Play

Perspectives: Opinions from our network of advisors, investors, operators and analysts on the risks and opportunities they see. The cannibalization of journalism and digital media sites by major technology companies has undermined the old advertising revenue model, but new business strategies are emerging. Merrill Brown, CEO...

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...

Chad Huffman: “It’s not about the content being king. It’s about good content being king.”

Perspectives: Opinions from our network of advisors, investors, operators and analysts on the risks and opportunities they see. So far, 2019 has seen the audio industry abuzz with acquisition deals, new funding rounds, and snazzy new feature launches. As the music-streaming industry evolves, what’s in...

Friends In Need: Google and Amazon End Streaming App Feud

On Our Radar: Deals we are paying attention to for their impact on industry. As streaming becomes an increasingly crowded field, two tech giants have decided that “kiss and make up” is a better strategy to continue growing their user bases and fending off newer...

Esports Brand Gen.G Adds Will Smith, Soccer’s Honda as Investors in Raising $46 Million

On Our Radar: Deals we are paying attention to for their impact on industry. Esports company Gen.G raised $46 million in new funding from celebrity investors including Will Smith and soccer player Keisuke Honda to help pay for a global expansion and a new headquarters...

Viacom’s Pluto TV to Team Up With Short-Form Content Provider Complex Networks

On Our Radar: Deals we are paying attention to for their impact on industry. Viacom’s Pluto TV announced Tuesday that it will partner with Complex Networks. The agreement will enable the ad supported streaming network to add its short-form digital content. According to The Wrap, the deal...

eOne Acquires U.K.’s Audio Network for $215 Million to Expand Roster

On Our Radar: Deals we are paying attention to for their impact on industry. Media company Entertainment One (eOne), acquired Audio Network, a British music licensing service and publisher of film, TV, advertising, and digital content, for a about $215 million in cash and stock. The...

Netflix to Release Magazine Ahead of Emmys Nominations

On Our Radar: Deals we are paying attention to for their impact on industry. Netflix has disrupted television, swept up Oscars for film-making — and now it’s getting into publishing so it can rack up the awards to prove it. Netflix is the latest among a...

T-Mobile Introduces TVision to Take on Cable and Satellite Services

On Our Radar: Deals we are paying attention to for their impact on industry. Ever feisty T-Mobile is going after the behemoths of cable and satellite television service. The Bellevue, Wash.-based telecommunications company announced the launch of TVision Home, a new home television service that it says...

Netflix Shuts Down AirPlay Citing Quality Viewing Issues

On Our Radar: Deals we are paying attention to for their impact on industry. Quality or competition? Only Netflix knows why it stopped supporting Apple's AirPlay service. The streaming giant said ensuring a quality viewing experience was behind the decision. In a statement this week, Netflix said...

Cool Japan Fund Invests $10M in Fashion Platform Clozette

On Our Radar: Deals we are paying attention to for their impact on industry. Clozette Pte. Ltd., a Singapore-based social platform focused on fashion and beauty content, announced its $10 million Series C round on Tuesday. The investment comes from Cool Japan Fund, a public-private effort under...

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...

Without Compromise, Entertainment May Radically Change After WGA-ATA Talks

Perspectives: Opinions from our network of advisors, investors, operators, and analysts on the risks and opportunities they see. The entertainment industry as we know it might look a little different come Sunday morning, A nearly four-decade-old agreement — known as the Artists’ Manager Basic Agreement of...

Bumble Doesn’t Think Print Is Dead

On Our Radar: Deals we are paying attention to for their impact on industry. The specter of magazine publishing may be haunting advertisers, but millennial-centric apps like Bumble and Airbnb are not perturbed. More than startups, these digital-first companies are symbols of a millennial lifestyle of...

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...

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...

BBC, Discovery Ink Historic $392 Million Streaming Deal

On Our Radar: Deals we are paying attention to for their impact on industry. BBC Studios and Discovery, Inc. have signed a $392 million (£300 million) programming deal that will make Discovery the exclusive owner of BBC programming streaming rights. The deal gives Discovery rights to the BBC’s...

Viacom’s Nickelodeon Acquires Sparkler in Pivot Toward Education

On Our Radar: Deals we are paying attention to for their impact on industry. Viacom’s Nickelodeon has acquired Sparkler, an early-childhood learning platform that measures children’s developmental progress. The company’s technology will be used to bolster Nickelodeon’s preschooler-focused Noggin streaming service. Sparkler co-founder Kristen Kane has also been appointed Noggin’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...

FCFL’s Sohrob Farudi: “The entire game is designed and built for interactive digital fans”

Sound Businesses: Profiles of companies and business models we are keeping an eye on. Football is by far America’s favorite sport, and it’s statistically been the spectator sport of choice since 1972, according to Gallup. The most-watched television programs in history are invariably Super Bowls of various...

With Parcast, Spotify Diversifies Adds a Factory of Audio Content

On Our Radar: Deals we are paying attention to for their impact on industry. Driven by a maturing and fast-growing audio advertising market, M&A activity in the podcasting space continues apace. The latest example is the audio streaming platform Spotify’s plan to acquire the podcasting content...

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...

Songtradr Aims to Expand Its Data-Driven Music Platform Globally

On Our Radar: Deals we are paying attention to for their impact on industry. The latest round of funding means unveiling new products and global expansion for the Santa Monica-based online music licensing platform Songtradr. The company has completed a $12 million Series B round earlier this month, led...
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