Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Generate, Berman-Braun Productions, Lime, and Team Baby Entertainment

Yesterday we looked at Diversion, today a slew of other new production company concepts caught my eye. First there is Generate.

From the LA Times:

"Ultimately these big media companies are all wrestling with the same thing - the power is being taken out of their hands," says Jordan Levin, the one time WB network chef who now helps run Generate, a production and management firm active in Internet projects. :This is an industry that for its entire history has imposed its model on consumers. They've always said, 'We'll tell you when you'll watch out TV show or see our movie.' But thats fundamentally changing. The whole structure of people who control content is being supplanted by the content users themselves."

Generate launch press release:

"A content development and talent management company targeting young adults and family households, Generate will develop and deploy content for the multiple distribution platforms embraced by the Millennial generation."

Next there is the uber hipply named, Berman-Braun Productions.

From PaidContent:

"Gail Berman has quickly turned around and launched a multiplatform production company along with Lloyd Braun, the formed Yahoo Media Group head, among other things."

From Variety:

"The former Par prexy and Yahoo! media/entertainment chief are forming BermanBraun, a TV-focused production company with strong film and Internet components. Discussions with a wide array of network and studio players have already begun.

But rather than strike a deal with one conglom, BermanBraun is believed to favor the indie model of 1990s powerhouse Carsey-Werner, albeit with outside financing. That could mean forging several strategic alliances, both with traditional companies and alternative players, such as a Internet portal."

Next up, Steve Case's Lime Network.

From the WSJ:

"Lime, a health-oriented media concern owned by Steve Case's Revolution Living LLC, launched a broadband channel and said it would phase out its traditional cable-TV network.

The advertising-supported Web site will feature original video focused on nutrition, the environment and related issues.

Lime Chief Executive C.J. Kettler says the company will continue to offer video-on-demand programming to cable operators, but that the Internet provides a better opportunity for a full-fledged channel. "As we built the business, we realized the audience is totally shifting," she says."

From the Washington Post:

"Lime has 6.5 million cable subscribers, a Web site and a 24-hour channel on Sirius Satellite Radio. It plans to roll out wireless alerts consisting of reminders and daily inspirations, said chief executive C.J. Kettler. As part of Revolution's deal with Gaiam, Gaiam will provide programming to Lime and produce videos of Lime shows."

From the New York Times:

"Most of Lime's Web site consists of a series of blogs, run by freelance writers who identify articles of interest around the Web, adding some commentary, but little original reporting.

Ms. Kettler said this was not only economical, but it tapped into the skepticism audiences had about so-called authoritative voices.

"We have lined up people who we use as filters for what is out on the Web so people can learn a bit and interact with other like-minded people," she said.

The blogs will also incorporate video and audio programming produced by Lime, and eventually content produced by its users. (For now, as on most blogs, users can comment on any item.)"

Let me introduce Worldwide Biggies.

From the WWBiggies site:

Worldwide Biggies is a content creation company whose mission is to develop and produce multi-platform characters, properties and brands for the digital family and young adults.

Worldwide Biggies is developing and producing: computer generated (CG) features; hi-definition (HD) movies and television series; direct-to-DVDs; and broadband and mobile content."
From the New York Post:

"After spending his entire career at Viacom's MTV Networks, first at Nickelodeon and then as the creator and president of Spike TV, Hecht is out on his own with a new digital media production company called Worldwide Biggies.

The inspiration for shows coming out of Worldwide Biggies, which will begin a fundraising effort with Platform Equity aimed at generating $16 million by the end of March, came to Hecht one day while observing his son.

"He was watching TV while talking on the phone in one ear and listening to his iPod in the other," Hecht said in an interview with The Post from his Los Angeles base. "I thought to myself, 'How am I going to compete for his attention?'"

In a media multi-tasking world, the answer Hecht hit upon was to devise a set of components to guide show development including watching, learning, playing, collecting, connecting and user-generation.

"Any show that features more than three of those components holds promise for development; six out of six is a home run, we think," Hecht said."

Last, but certainly not least, Team Baby Entertainment.

From the Team Baby site:

"Team Baby Entertainment is the premier producer of an award winning series of officially licensed sports themed children's DVDs. The company is currently licensed by the NCAA, NBA, MLB and NASCAR. Each DVD is customized for a specific team and/or university and utilizes officially licensed footage of all team sports, mascot, marching band, traditions and landmarks and attractions. Also included is officially licensed music from the universities marching band and team theme songs to expose children to each team in an exciting and playful manner."

From Business Week:

"Operating from a tony Beverly Hills address, Michael Eisner has gone all new media, plunking down an undisclosed sum to buy Team Baby Entertainment, which makes sport-themed DVDs for children, and taking a stake in Veoh Networks Inc., an ad-supported YouTube-like consumer-generated video site that claims 4 million unique monthly users.

Eisner had originally planned to do deals with Disney. The Team Baby buy, for instance, would have been a perfect fit for his former company. After his resignation, Eisner agreed to sit on the Disney board and then realized that potential conflicts of interest would crimp his freedom. So he left the board and went out on his own. His people say more deals are coming, but Eisner is keeping mum."

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