businesswire | March 24, 2023
Armanino LLP, a top 20 accounting and consulting firm in the United States, announced today that leading music business management team, Nashville-based Blue Sky Group, and music rights and royalty auditing firm, Royalty Compliance Organization (“RCO”), are joining Armanino effective April 1, 2023. The strategic additions of these two firms mark a major development that strengthens Armanino’s business management service offerings, broader tax and audit capabilities and gives Armanino a Nashville presence, which is the heart of the music industry.
The Blue Sky Group with Harlan Hallet and Steven McMillan and RCO with Wayne Coleman and Darla Crain will integrate into Armanino bringing a wealth of talented entertainment business managers and audit experts in royalty compliance, valuation services, and litigation support capabilities that propel Armanino forward in delivering the preeminent entertainment and business management services. Unique to business management firms, Armanino will continue to provide robust day-to-day business management services along with deepened tax, audit, and other service offerings relevant to the needs of the entertainment industry and ultra-high net-worth clients, all with a white-glove approach focused on client success.
"As far as industry-leading experts, we could not be more thrilled with the knowledge and talent that Blue Sky and RCO bring to our team, we know this will be incredibly valuable for our clients,” says Craig Manzino, Partner, Business Management at Armanino. “This will make Armanino one of the only business management groups in the world that will be able to offer the full slate of entertainment services while allowing us to deepen and expand our reach into Nashville, which we view as extremely important for our growth goals.”
Armanino’s Business Management team, which serves some of the leading musicians, entertainers and music publishers among other clientele out of their New York City and Los Angeles offices, will now have an office in Nashville. Music City is the country’s fastest growing entertainment hotspot and an office in Nashville gives Armanino’s team and its clients the trifecta of office locations to serve the entertainment industry.
“As the industry standard for royalty audit services, RCO is excited to join Armanino’s entertainment practice and tap into the synergies that our firms bring to the table,” says Wayne Coleman, Founder and CEO of Royalty Compliance Organization. Darla Crain, COO of RCO adds, “by combining forces, we will be able to better serve our clients while being able to bring best-in-class offerings to Armanino and Blue Sky’s client base.”
“Blue Sky, RCO and Armanino share a common vision for the future of entertainment advice and business management service, and believe that we can evolve into the leading business management firm in the country,” says Harlan Hallet, Partner at Blue Sky. “By combining forces, we are only adding to an already successful business practice but now have the benefit of RCO’s capabilities and the leverage and resources of Armanino’s team. We see this as a major win for the entertainment industry as a whole.”
The addition of these firms comes as the entertainment industry continues to show signs of growth and a greater need for royalty compliance and auditing. Armanino is well-placed to take advantage of this growth. With offices serving the entertainment industry now in three major US cities, clients can expect a high-quality service across all aspects of business management from Armanino.
About Armanino LLP
Armanino LLP is one of the 20 largest independent accounting and business consulting firms in the nation. Armanino provides an integrated set of audit, tax, business management, consulting and technology solutions to companies in the U.S. and globally. The firm helps clients adapt and change in every stage of business, from startup through rapid growth to the sale of a company. Armanino emphasizes smart technology, leading a cloud revolution of financial, operational, sales and compliance tools that are transforming the way companies do business. Armanino is an independent member firm of Moore North America Inc. (MNA), which is itself a regional member of Moore Global Network Limited (MGNL), one of the world’s major accounting and consulting membership organizations. All the firms associated with MNA and MGNL are independent entities, owned and managed in each location. Their membership in, or association with, MNA or MGNL should not be construed as constituting or implying any partnership between them. In addition to its core consulting and accounting practices, Armanino operates its division, AMF Media Group (www.amfmediagroup.com), a media and communications services agency.
businesswire | March 23, 2023
Nex, a leader in motion entertainment, today announced they will be offering an exclusive first look at Nex Playground, a new entertainment device that delivers immersive games and experiences powered by body motion, at the annual Game Developers Conference (GDC) on March 22-24 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. GDC attendees will also get to experience a broad portfolio of motion games and experiences at Nex’s booth.
“Finding entertainment choices that are active, positive, and healthy can be a challenge for anyone, and families in particular. Nex Playground encourages new forms of physical play, and also brings people together,” said David Lee, co-founder and CEO of Nex. “At GDC, we want to show creators how full-body motion interaction is something any game developer can leverage to open up a new world of immersive motion-based experiences.”
Nex Playground delivers the most natural and intuitive way to play with no extra wearables. Simply connect Nex Playground to a big screen TV and you’ll instantly transform your living room into an active play space. Nex Playground sees your body movements and provides endless hours of fun for the whole family. It’s like an arcade, theme park, sports park, playground, and gym, all rolled into one. Nex Playground supports any number of players and can even connect friends for remote play. The Nex Playground remote is equipped with haptic feedback, allowing motion games to become even more immersive and magical.
In addition to previewing the new device, Nex is inviting all game developers and designers who want to build immersive, motion-powered gameplay experiences to join their presentation on “Motion Tracking Meets AI, Creating a New Category of Games” at the GDC Partner Stage on March 22 at 11:30 a.m. Lee will introduce new and powerful motion capture tools for development in Unity, and explain how to publish motion-based games on a variety of consumer devices and platforms, including Nex Playground.
To help the motion entertainment ecosystem accelerate, Nex has created a package of content development tools that allow game and content developers to create their own motion experiences. This includes the Nex Motion Developer Kit (MDK), an AI-powered toolkit for building motion interactive content and games right within Unity. Nex has been working closely with a few game developers already to put the MDK to the test.
“Here's the wonderful thing about motion games: the player's body is way richer and more intricate than any controller could ever be,” said Mattia Traverso, the BAFTA finalist Game Designer who will be joining Lee on stage for the presentation. “Players can be very creative in the way they interact with our games through their body poses and movements. Now we can build games that respond to these organic inputs and create new kinds of experiences that would not be possible before. And what’s cool about Nex’s Motion Developer Kit is that it’s really easy to create these kinds of games now.”
As pioneers in motion entertainment, Nex is paving the way to a powerful new interactive paradigm that taps into the pure joy of physical activity. Within its motion entertainment ecosystem, endless possibilities await in a range of experiences spanning different realms of interest, from dance to sports to education to interactive adventures. Compared to traditional video games and fitness apps, Nex’s motion-based experiences blend movement and interactive content to deliver entertainment that is as intuitive as using your hands and feet. The experiences require no headset, keyboard, or game controller to enjoy, instead leveraging natural body movement to interact with the myriad of activities.
Nex’s motion experiences are available on billions of camera-enabled consumer devices such as iOS and Android smartphones and tablets. Starting this summer, some of Nex’s games like Starri, a heart-pounding motion-based rhythm game, will also become available on Steam. Additionally, Nex is currently collaborating closely with operators, TV manufacturers, brands and IP holders to bring motion entertainment to life.
Nex Playground is slated to launch alongside a subscription catalog of more than 30 games and experiences, with the first batch of units targeting holiday 2023. In June, the company plans to launch a crowdfunding campaign for Nex Playground, which will offer priority access to early inventory and other perks. For an opportunity to be an early backer, sign up HERE. Developer kit units will be available this summer.
Nex collaborated with level Design, a woman-led industrial design shop based in San Francisco, to create the design of Nex Playground, and SKYWORTH Group Limited, a leading supplier of advanced, high-quality TV and entertainment solutions, to produce the physical models being shown at GDC.
Nex is helping humanity reconnect with the joy of movement through fun, social, and interactive motion entertainment that’s accessible on any modern camera-equipped device. Using cutting-edge AI, mobile, and vision technologies, Nex merges the digital and physical worlds, so players are immersed in the experience using their natural body movement. Nex has been recognized as one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies, Time’s Best Inventions, and has been awarded the prestigious Apple Design Award. Nex apps are used in more than 200 countries around the world and include HomeCourt, Active Arcade, Party Fowl, Starri, Miniacs Steering Madness and Peppa Pig: Jump and Giggle.
FitXR | March 21, 2023
FitXR, the VR fitness app with the most robust suite of offerings in the metaverse, today, announced new app integration with Strava, leading subscription platform at the center of connected fitness, to provide FitXR members a more comprehensive snapshot of their fitness journey through shared data. The partnership marks another major moment in FitXR’s commitment to providing an elevated and accessible digital experience that enables users to set and achieve fitness goals with ease.
“As more people look to take control of their health and fitness goals, there is a greater need for the ability to easily access and track key metrics across platforms,” said Kelly Cosentino, FitXR’s Head of Fitness. “FitXR’s integration with Strava provides our members with a holistic digital solution that easily fits into their lifestyles. We are excited to empower people at all levels of activity by helping them to account daily for every step, mile, elbow strike and dance move completed on any terrain – whether it be virtual or physical.”
Through FitXR’s free companion app, users are now able to seamlessly share their preferred data automatically after every workout with the Strava app. With this integration, FitXR users on the free companion app can seamlessly share their workouts to the Strava platform. With over 100 million users in 190 countries, Strava unlocks the ability for FitXR users to set goals, connect with an active community, and share their virtual activities with active people around the world.
The strategic partnership furthers FitXR’s mission to build the most immersive virtual fitness club experience that is designed to be customizable for individual preferences. Through increased data connectivity, FitXR users will be better positioned to get the most out of FitXR’s virtual offerings as well as the apps that motivate and inspire them to keep moving.
FitXR merges immersive VR with total body workouts designed by top fitness experts. Dedicated to making fitness more fun and accessible for everyone, FitXR offers classes within five distinct workout studios - Box, Dance, HIIT, Sculpt and Combat. FitXR provides a truly engaging, multiplayer experience along with constantly refreshed classes, environments and music. FitXR is available on Meta Quest 2.