TikTok parent ByteDance acquires VR headset company Pico Interactive

Key Insights and Signals in Media and Entertainment

Mergers and Acquisitions
TikTok parent ByteDance acquires VR headset company Pico Interactive
Pico develops VR headsets for enterprises, such as its Neo 3 Pro and Neo 3 Pro Eye 6DoF devices that come with enterprise functionality, a counterbalanced design for extended wear, and spatial stereo speakers. The acquisition puts ByteDance in direct competition with Facebook, which owns a leading VR platform, Oculus. Read More>>
Vox Media purchases Punch
Launched in October 2013, Punch will become a sister publication to Eater that covers food and restaurants under the Vox Media brand. Vox Media has the tools, institutional IQ, and ethos to allow Punch to grow while remaining true to the vision initially set forth. Punch will retain its editorial independence under the Eater brand, also owned by Vox Media. Read More>>
The Hill acquired by TV Broadcast Group Nexstar Media for USD 130 Mn
Political digital media company The Hill has been acquired by Nexstar Media, which operates TV stations in 116 markets and 120 local websites. The deal reinforces Nexstar’s content strategy focused primarily on the news and digital media. Read More>>
Content Creator Platform Memberful partners with Spotify  
As part of this partnership, Memberful’s customers will now be able to share paid podcasts directly to the Spotify platform via private RSS feeds. Memberful is a best-in-class, no coding required membership software built for entrepreneurs, independent creators, publishers, educators, podcasters, and more. Read More>>
Fox Corp makes strategic investment in Eluvio to accelerate the adoption of the platform across the industry
As part of the investment, the companies also announced that Eluvio would provide the underlying technology platform for Blockchain Creative Labs, FOX Entertainment’s, and Bento Box Entertainment’s recently launched NFT business and creative unit. Read More>>
InMobi joins hands with cybersecurity company HUMAN for fraud-free advertising
With this partnership, InMobi will directly integrate HUMAN’s MediaGuard solution for a transparent and fraud-free in-app advertising ecosystem. In addition, it is joining HUMAN’s new initiative Human Collective to disincentivize cybercrime by raising the consequences and practical cost of fraud through shared resources across the industry. Read More>>
FanDuel renews Sportradar partnership to strengthen in-play offering
US-focused sports betting operator FanDuel has renewed its contract with Sportradar. The expanded partnership represents an opportunity for FanDuel to bolster its position in the US by leveraging Sportradar’s data services for popular tournaments and markets as the sports betting space in the country continues to grow. Read More>>
Executive Movement
Joan Amble joins BuzzFeed’s Board of Directors as Audit Chair
Amble, who previously served as Executive VP, Finance, and Comptroller for American Express, will bring decades of finance, accounting, and public company experience to BuzzFeed’s Board and help BuzzFeed navigate a new period of growth as a public company. Read More>>
Havas brings in Jeeyoung Kwak as Korea CEO
Havas has recruited a veteran agency manager to run its Korean operations, naming Jeeyoung Kwak as its new CEO for the market. Kwak has more than 20 years of experience in media, advertising, and marketing agencies, where she has been in charge of strategic planning, operation, and client leadership. Read More>>
Former Amazon VP appointed COO of digital events start-up Hopin
Digital events start-up Hopin has hired former Amazon VP Wei Gao as Chief Operating Officer (COO) to lead the platform’s growth and innovation. Gao, who has worked at Amazon for 16 years, was VP for Amazon Grocery and was a shadow adviser to the former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. Gao joins Hopin at a time when the digital events platform has seen significant growth since the beginning of the pandemic. Read More>>
NBCUniversal’s Peacock names Chief Data Officer
NBCUniversal has promoted Will Gonzalez to the role of EVP and Chief Data Officer responsible for the global data strategy of its video streaming service Peacock. As a member of Peacock’s launch team, Gonzalez has also served as SVP of Decision Sciences. Before that, he held various leadership roles in consumer data and marketing tech initiatives at Sony, having begun his career in digital product strategy at The New York Times. Read More>>
Gannett names first Chief Data Officer
Nate Rackiewicz will lead a team to implement the company’s customer identity, data and growth analytics, as well as data science and modeling capabilities. Rackiewicz brings over two decades of experience in data science and advanced analytics. Rackiewicz has also previously led consumer data and analytics efforts at A+E Networks and HBO. Read More>>
Deals and Deal Renewals
TV3 Group relies on Encompass Digital Media for Cloud-Based Services
Encompass Digital Media has announced a five-year renewal with Baltic-based broadcaster TV3 Group. Encompass will provide TV3 Group with end-to-end cloud-based playout and media management services for 17 channels, together with disaster recovery and archive storage. Central to the renewal is a comprehensive technology refresh, moving TV3 Groups services onto Encompass Altitude Media Cloud platform. Read More>>
Scientific Games acquires digital lottery studio Sideplay
The combination of Sideplay’s innovative portfolio of digital games and agile content distribution technology with Scientific Games iLottery platforms and digital solutions is expected to increase player engagement and drive further growth of the company’s iLottery solutions in markets around the world, it added. Read More>>
Center setup and expansion
Square Enix lists Aether data center as congested, increases login cap in Europe
Square Enix addressed recent server issues for Final Fantasy XIV caused by connection overloads. The influx of new players in such a short time caused various issues that forced Square Enix to take action, such as adding an auto-logout feature rapidly. North-American data center Aether is now listed as congested, which prevents players from creating new characters. On the other hand, the European data centers saw an increase in login caps, shortening waiting times before logging in. Read More>>

Latest Industry Insights from Draup Braindesk

Media and Entertainment players are collaborating for content distribution across their platforms and utilize digital technologies for marketing. 

  • Warner Bros partnered with AI startup, Cinelytic to use AI algorithms in predicting the movies’ success at the box office, which would help with better decision-making about movies’ marketing and distribution. 
  • MGM has taken a stake in the newly launched Audio Up, a podcast content production studio and platform. MGM can further diversify its content pipeline with this new venture while rapidly expanding into new storytelling platforms. 
  • Foxtel developed a sports prediction AI chatbot that can predict the fall of wickets in a game up to 5 minutes in advance and alert fans so they would not miss it live.  

Major players are keen on Content Distribution, Cloud Gaming services, Virtual Reality, and Connected Video Ad Platforms: 

  • Microsoft is developing streaming devices that can be plugged into TVs to use its cloud gaming service. The feature allows gamers to play games hosted on remote servers and then streamed to users over the internet. 
  • ViacomCBS partnered with Google to deliver more content from ViacomCBS’ leading portfolio of news, entertainment, and sports networks for YouTube TV subscribers. 
  • TEGNA and AT&T have entered into a new multi-year retransmission consent agreement to provide TEGNA-owned local broadcast stations to customers of AT&T’s video platforms across the country. 

Key Funding Alert

Vietcetera raises USD 2.7 Mn in a pre-Series A funding led by North Base Media 
Vietcetera will broaden its target demographic after getting USD 2.7 Mn in pre-Series A funding. The capital was raised over two rounds this year, led by media-focused venture firm North Base Media.  Vietcetera’s new funding will be used on content, including new shows and podcasts, mobile app development, franchise and content licensing, and potential acquisitions. 
Read More>>

Startup Spotlight

Company – TetaVi Ltd
Total Funding – USD 24 Mn
Year of Inception – 2016 
HQ Location – Central, Israel
About: TetaVi Ltd. is an Israel-based start-up developing a system to generate high-quality Free Viewpoint Video (FVV) content for sports, broadcast, and virtual reality applications to be viewed on all available screens – TVs, mobile phones/tablets, laptops, VR/AR headsets. Read More>>

Latest Reports Published in Draup

Digitization of Media & Entertainment Ecosystem and Publishing Print Media Industry Report: Media companies strive to optimize their advertising platforms and operations by multiplying down on audience intelligence, analytics, and data management platforms to manage more robust segments and profiles. Sophisticated planning tools, advanced analytics, and machine learning are being applied to content production, helping media companies to optimize human and technical resources. Read More>>
Bertelsmann Account Intelligence Report: Bertelsmann is committed to expanding its education and media business by developing and optimizing existing processes with new technologies, advanced database solutions for publishers and editors based on artificial intelligence, and customized education offerings. Bertelsmann will position its future goals in enhancing its digital capabilities in education, publishing, and media services. Read More>>
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