Media & Entertainment Industry: Novel Strategies to Thrive in the New Normal

June 20, 2021 | 104 views

Media enterprises will have to quickly learn to run their media operationswhile accelerating digital transformation and adopting emergingtechnologies

Spotlight

WTS Broadcast Systems

As a specialist dealer, distributor and stockist of all the very latest professional broadcast technology and media products, WTS Broadcast supplies equipment, installation and servicing solutions to customers all over the world.For all stages of a project, from pre-production to post, through to any number of delivery methods and formats, WTS Broadcast provides all the technology and expertise needed to ensure smooth, timely implementation and quality results. Our specialist team can create a solution that perfectly meets the demands of your business.

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Media and Broadcasting

Microsoft’s xCloud game streaming arrives on iOS with some Apple restrictions

Article | June 4, 2021

Microsoft is expanding its Project xCloud service to the iPhone today. The software giant is launching a beta of xCloud through Apple’s TestFlight service, allowing xCloud testers to try the service on an iPhone or iPad. It’s the first time we’ve seen a cloud game streaming service appear on iOS since the days of OnLive — and OnLive’s iOS app wound up in limbo when Apple didn’t approve it. Google’s Stadia and Nvidia’s GeForce Now are still not available on Apple’s devices, either, and neither company has been able to tell us when that might change.

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Virtualization, Media and Broadcasting

Apple's AR & VR headset may not need external input for orientation & motion detection

Article | July 13, 2022

Apple is continuing to investigate headsets like its "AR Glasses," as part of its exploration of Augmented and Virtual Reality systems. One such headset in future may utilize sensors that can detect angular rotation, such as that experienced when the device is placed on a user's head or removed. "[It] may be beneficial for the VR headset to be able to detect when a head-worn device (e.g., headset, eyeglasses, headphones, etc.) is being removed from the user's head, is being placed on the user's head, or both," says Apple in US Patent No. 10,557,724, "Angle detection of a rotating system using a single magnet and multiple hall sensors."

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Media and Broadcasting

Game On: These Entertainment Stocks Hit New Levels

Article | June 14, 2021

Some Chinese entertainment stocks listed in the U.S. got a boost last week after the People Bank of China (PBOC) said it would pump $173 billion into the economy. Since news of the report from Beijing hit the street, one of the biggest gainers was Chinese gaming giant NetEase Inc. (Nasdaq: NTES) NetEase, a partner of California-based Blizzard Entertainment in China, traded as low as $317.48 per American depositary share within the last couple of weeks, and soared as high as $347.95 apiece last week. NetEase rolled out its international presence in recent years in Japan and North America, lowering its China dependency.

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The Future of Tech: Gaming Consoles, the Xbox and PlayStation of Tomorrow

Article | February 10, 2020

Consoles have come a very long way since the arrival of first-generation machines from Atari and Coleco in the seventies. Even the original PlayStation (1994) and Xbox (2001) look dated compared to the 4K/HDR-capable machines of today, and that divide will grow even larger once the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X arrive at the end of 2020. But what about the future? More than once console makers have tried to break new ground, by focusing on functionality beyond gaming, but for the most part those attempts have failed. Nintendo has found the most success with specialized hardware that still focuses on games first, while Sony and Microsoft have seemingly understood that building powerful general purpose machines that are akin to PCs is their best and safest bet.

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Spotlight

WTS Broadcast Systems

As a specialist dealer, distributor and stockist of all the very latest professional broadcast technology and media products, WTS Broadcast supplies equipment, installation and servicing solutions to customers all over the world.For all stages of a project, from pre-production to post, through to any number of delivery methods and formats, WTS Broadcast provides all the technology and expertise needed to ensure smooth, timely implementation and quality results. Our specialist team can create a solution that perfectly meets the demands of your business.

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Solutions

IMAX and Prime Focus Technologies (PFT) expand strategic relationship into the streaming ecosystem

Media and Entertainment | September 14, 2023

Entertainment technology industry leader IMAX Corporation® (NYSE: IMAX) and PFT, the creator of AI-powered technology solutions for the Media and Entertainment (M&E) industry, today announced plans to expand their strategic relationship beyond theatrical and into the streaming ecosystem. Under the arrangement, IMAX will expand access to its Stream Smart™ technology to PFT customers across Europe, Asia, and Australia. The expanded partnership will dramatically increase the global availability of Stream Smart™, which helps streaming platforms deliver maximum picture quality while significantly reducing distribution and storage costs. "We are thrilled to deepen our partnership with IMAX, an industry trailblazer with a remarkable legacy of revolutionizing the global entertainment industry," said Ramki Sankaranarayanan, Global CEO of PFT. "For over a decade, CLEAR®, our flagship product, has spearheaded digital packaging and delivery services for prominent streaming platforms worldwide. CLEAR® & Stream Smart will help optimize our customers' encoding pipeline, so they deliver better streaming quality while optimizing CDN & storage costs." "Many of Hollywood's biggest streaming platforms use Stream Smart™ to ensure quality and reduce costs, and we're excited to work with our partners at PFT to extend the reach of our technologies throughout key markets in Europe, Asia, and Australia," said Vikram Arumilli, General Manager of Streaming and Consumer Technology at IMAX. "Our suite of streaming technology products, including Stream Smart™, provides a best-in-class service for direct-to-consumer broadcast and streaming companies, and PFT's' ability to leverage this for their customers is a win-win for both organizations." PFT and its parent company, DNEG, are industry leaders providing a full suite of technology and creative solutions, including IMAX post-production and 3D mastering. IMAX and DNEG joined forces in 2022 for post-production, which included Indian films like Jawan, Pathaan, and RRR. This extended partnership will build upon the established theatrical relationship between IMAX and DNEG to develop a comprehensive video optimization solution. Stream Smart™ is an enterprise software product designed to deliver the best image quality and optimize delivery to unlock cost savings. This product was built from cutting-edge scientific advancements, state-of-the-art engineering, trusted studio relationships, and rooted in a real-world at-scale Emmy®-winning collaboration with Disney Streaming Services and SSIMWAVE. Stream Smart™ will be the centerpiece of the IMAX showcase at IBC 2023. Sign up to meet with PFT and IMAX Streaming & Consumer Technology group at IBC: About IMAX Corporation IMAX, an innovator in entertainment technology, combines proprietary software, architecture, and equipment to create experiences that take you beyond the edge of your seat to a world you've never imagined. Top filmmakers and studios are utilizing IMAX systems to connect with audiences in extraordinary ways, making IMAX's network among the most important and successful theatrical distribution platforms for major event films around the globe. IMAX is headquartered in New York, Toronto, and Los Angeles, with additional offices in London, Dublin, Tokyo, and Shanghai. As of June 30, 2023, there were 1,718 IMAX systems (1,638 commercial multiplexes, 12 commercial destinations, 68 institutional) operating in 87 countries and territories. Shares of IMAX China Holding, Inc., a subsidiary of IMAX Corporation, trade on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange under the stock code "1970." About Prime Focus Technologies Prime Focus Technologies (PFT) is the creator of CLEAR® and CLEAR® AI. It offers streaming platforms, studios, and broadcasters transformational AI-led technology and media services powered by the cloud that help them lower their Total Cost of Operations (TCOP) by automating their content supply chain. PFT works with major companies like Walt Disney-owned Star TV, Channel 4, ITV, Sinclair Broadcast Group, A&E Networks, Warner Media, PBS, CBS Television Studios, 20th Century Fox Television Studios, Lionsgate, Showtime, HBO, NBCU, TERN International, Disney+ Hotstar, BCCI, Indian Premier League and more. About DNEG DNEG (www.dneg.com) is a world-leading visual entertainment services company for the creation of feature film, television, and multiplatform content, with worldwide offices and studios across North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. DNEG's critically acclaimed work has earned the company seven Academy Awards® for Best Visual Effects and numerous BAFTA and Primetime EMMY® Awards for its high-quality VFX work. Current and upcoming DNEG projects on behalf of its Hollywood and global studio and production company partners include Spy Kids Armageddon (September 2023), No One Will Save You (September 2023), The Gilded Age S2 (October 2023), Nyad (November 2023), Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (December 2023), Lift (January 2024), Dune: Part Two (March 2024), Mickey 17 (March 2024), Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire (April 2024), Garfield (May 2024), Borderlands (August 2024), Furiosa (2024), That Christmas, Coyote vs. Acme, The Gorge, and Animal Friends.

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Applications

Xsolla Launches Mall, An Online Destination for Video Games

Xsolla | September 21, 2023

Xsolla, a global video game commerce company, has announced a new online destination called Xsolla Mall. This platform allows video games to host multiple landing pages where players can access exclusive in-game items, game discounts, and premium experiences directly from developers and publishers or via campaigns with content creators and payment providers. Developers can showcase and monetize content from their games on a specific branded landing page within the platform, even the entirety of a game. There is already a growing library of cloud games accessible through the Xsolla Mall, supported by the Xsolla Cloud Gaming solution. Xsolla Mall also merges video game content and the convenience of multiple local payment methods with the power of content creators and influencers into one cost-effective platform, providing a wide range of generating incremental revenue for games. Xsolla Mall provides developers and publishers with a new distribution channel, reducing overall customer acquisition and retention costs, growing brand awareness, increasing player engagement, and generating more profit for their business. "Xsolla Mall unlocks a new direct-to-consumer distribution channel for delivering games and in-game content on the web," said Chris Hewish, CEO of Xsolla. "We aim to help developers tackle current market challenges like the high cost of acquiring and retaining players, high distribution fees, and increasing the number of paying players so they can earn and keep more of the profits from the sale of their games and in-game content. Xsolla Mall perfectly aligns with our mission to bolster the gaming community by providing developers, influencers, and players with a safe, practical, and engaging platform." About Xsolla Xsolla is a global video game commerce company with a robust and powerful set of tools and services designed specifically for the video game industry. Since its founding in 2005, Xsolla has helped thousands of game developers and publishers of all sizes fund, market, launch and monetize their games globally and across multiple platforms. As an innovative leader in game commerce, Xsolla’s mission is to solve the inherent complexities of global distribution, marketing, and monetization to help our partners reach more geographies, generate more revenue and create relationships with gamers worldwide. Headquartered and incorporated in Los Angeles, California, with offices in Berlin, Seoul, Beijing, Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo and cities around the world, Xsolla supports major gaming titles like Valve, Twitch, Roblox, Ubisoft, Epic Games, Take-Two, KRAFTON, Nexters, NetEase, Playstudios, Playrix, miHoYo, and more.

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Media and Broadcasting

iMedia Brands Completes Successful Transaction for Asset Sale to IV Media, LLC

businesswire | August 18, 2023

Global media company iMedia Brands, Inc. announced that it has successfully closed its Asset and Equity Purchase Agreement (“AEPA”) with IV Media, LLC (“IV Media”), a subsidiary of Innovation Ventures, LLC, the producer and distributor of 5-hour ENERGY shots. Through the AEPA, IV Media has acquired substantially all assets of iMedia Brands on a going-concern basis, including its ShopHQ Networks, 1-2-3.tv, iMDS, J.W. Hulme, and Christopher & Banks businesses for approximately $55 million of transaction value, plus the assumption of certain liabilities, contracts, and ongoing expenses. “On behalf of iMedia, I am pleased to announce the purchase of iMedia’s operating assets by IV Media,” said James Alt, Chief Transformation Officer, iMedia. “Under new ownership, both companies will be well positioned to grow and achieve great success together well into the future. With IV Media’s partnership, iMedia will continue delivering customers the diverse range of brands they desire through captivating content. Today’s announcement is a great outcome for iMedia, and I thank our valued team and partners for their continued support during this process.” “We are pleased with the outcome and the process and are looking forward to working closely with iMedia going forward,” said Vince Bodiford, Head of Communications, Innovation Ventures, LLC and 5-hour ENERGY®. Following completion of the court-approved auction process on August 10, 2023, and in consultation with lenders and the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors, the Company selected IV Media, LLC as the winning bidder. At the Sale Hearing on August 14, 2023, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware approved iMedia’s entry into the AEPA pursuant to Section 363 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Ropes & Gray LLP and Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones LLP are serving as legal counsel, Lincoln International LLC is serving as investment banker, Huron Consulting Group is serving as financial advisor, and C Street Advisory Group is serving as strategy and communications advisor to the Company. Greenberg Traurig, LLP and Oakland Law Group, PLLC are serving as legal counsel to IV Media. About iMedia Brands, Inc iMedia Brands, Inc is a global media company capitalizing on the convergence of entertainment, ecommerce, and advertising. The Company owns and operates four television networks, which are ShopHQ, ShopBulldogTV, ShopHQHealth and 123tv. ShopHQ, the company’s flagship television network with a thirty-year history, is nationally distributed in the U.S. to over 90 million homes via its affiliation agreements in cable, satellite, and broadcast, and reach viewers through its social platforms and its OTT App on Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire and Samsung Smart-televisions.

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Solutions

IMAX and Prime Focus Technologies (PFT) expand strategic relationship into the streaming ecosystem

Media and Entertainment | September 14, 2023

Entertainment technology industry leader IMAX Corporation® (NYSE: IMAX) and PFT, the creator of AI-powered technology solutions for the Media and Entertainment (M&E) industry, today announced plans to expand their strategic relationship beyond theatrical and into the streaming ecosystem. Under the arrangement, IMAX will expand access to its Stream Smart™ technology to PFT customers across Europe, Asia, and Australia. The expanded partnership will dramatically increase the global availability of Stream Smart™, which helps streaming platforms deliver maximum picture quality while significantly reducing distribution and storage costs. "We are thrilled to deepen our partnership with IMAX, an industry trailblazer with a remarkable legacy of revolutionizing the global entertainment industry," said Ramki Sankaranarayanan, Global CEO of PFT. "For over a decade, CLEAR®, our flagship product, has spearheaded digital packaging and delivery services for prominent streaming platforms worldwide. CLEAR® & Stream Smart will help optimize our customers' encoding pipeline, so they deliver better streaming quality while optimizing CDN & storage costs." "Many of Hollywood's biggest streaming platforms use Stream Smart™ to ensure quality and reduce costs, and we're excited to work with our partners at PFT to extend the reach of our technologies throughout key markets in Europe, Asia, and Australia," said Vikram Arumilli, General Manager of Streaming and Consumer Technology at IMAX. "Our suite of streaming technology products, including Stream Smart™, provides a best-in-class service for direct-to-consumer broadcast and streaming companies, and PFT's' ability to leverage this for their customers is a win-win for both organizations." PFT and its parent company, DNEG, are industry leaders providing a full suite of technology and creative solutions, including IMAX post-production and 3D mastering. IMAX and DNEG joined forces in 2022 for post-production, which included Indian films like Jawan, Pathaan, and RRR. This extended partnership will build upon the established theatrical relationship between IMAX and DNEG to develop a comprehensive video optimization solution. Stream Smart™ is an enterprise software product designed to deliver the best image quality and optimize delivery to unlock cost savings. This product was built from cutting-edge scientific advancements, state-of-the-art engineering, trusted studio relationships, and rooted in a real-world at-scale Emmy®-winning collaboration with Disney Streaming Services and SSIMWAVE. Stream Smart™ will be the centerpiece of the IMAX showcase at IBC 2023. Sign up to meet with PFT and IMAX Streaming & Consumer Technology group at IBC: About IMAX Corporation IMAX, an innovator in entertainment technology, combines proprietary software, architecture, and equipment to create experiences that take you beyond the edge of your seat to a world you've never imagined. Top filmmakers and studios are utilizing IMAX systems to connect with audiences in extraordinary ways, making IMAX's network among the most important and successful theatrical distribution platforms for major event films around the globe. IMAX is headquartered in New York, Toronto, and Los Angeles, with additional offices in London, Dublin, Tokyo, and Shanghai. As of June 30, 2023, there were 1,718 IMAX systems (1,638 commercial multiplexes, 12 commercial destinations, 68 institutional) operating in 87 countries and territories. Shares of IMAX China Holding, Inc., a subsidiary of IMAX Corporation, trade on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange under the stock code "1970." About Prime Focus Technologies Prime Focus Technologies (PFT) is the creator of CLEAR® and CLEAR® AI. It offers streaming platforms, studios, and broadcasters transformational AI-led technology and media services powered by the cloud that help them lower their Total Cost of Operations (TCOP) by automating their content supply chain. PFT works with major companies like Walt Disney-owned Star TV, Channel 4, ITV, Sinclair Broadcast Group, A&E Networks, Warner Media, PBS, CBS Television Studios, 20th Century Fox Television Studios, Lionsgate, Showtime, HBO, NBCU, TERN International, Disney+ Hotstar, BCCI, Indian Premier League and more. About DNEG DNEG (www.dneg.com) is a world-leading visual entertainment services company for the creation of feature film, television, and multiplatform content, with worldwide offices and studios across North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. DNEG's critically acclaimed work has earned the company seven Academy Awards® for Best Visual Effects and numerous BAFTA and Primetime EMMY® Awards for its high-quality VFX work. Current and upcoming DNEG projects on behalf of its Hollywood and global studio and production company partners include Spy Kids Armageddon (September 2023), No One Will Save You (September 2023), The Gilded Age S2 (October 2023), Nyad (November 2023), Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (December 2023), Lift (January 2024), Dune: Part Two (March 2024), Mickey 17 (March 2024), Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire (April 2024), Garfield (May 2024), Borderlands (August 2024), Furiosa (2024), That Christmas, Coyote vs. Acme, The Gorge, and Animal Friends.

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Applications

Xsolla Launches Mall, An Online Destination for Video Games

Xsolla | September 21, 2023

Xsolla, a global video game commerce company, has announced a new online destination called Xsolla Mall. This platform allows video games to host multiple landing pages where players can access exclusive in-game items, game discounts, and premium experiences directly from developers and publishers or via campaigns with content creators and payment providers. Developers can showcase and monetize content from their games on a specific branded landing page within the platform, even the entirety of a game. There is already a growing library of cloud games accessible through the Xsolla Mall, supported by the Xsolla Cloud Gaming solution. Xsolla Mall also merges video game content and the convenience of multiple local payment methods with the power of content creators and influencers into one cost-effective platform, providing a wide range of generating incremental revenue for games. Xsolla Mall provides developers and publishers with a new distribution channel, reducing overall customer acquisition and retention costs, growing brand awareness, increasing player engagement, and generating more profit for their business. "Xsolla Mall unlocks a new direct-to-consumer distribution channel for delivering games and in-game content on the web," said Chris Hewish, CEO of Xsolla. "We aim to help developers tackle current market challenges like the high cost of acquiring and retaining players, high distribution fees, and increasing the number of paying players so they can earn and keep more of the profits from the sale of their games and in-game content. Xsolla Mall perfectly aligns with our mission to bolster the gaming community by providing developers, influencers, and players with a safe, practical, and engaging platform." About Xsolla Xsolla is a global video game commerce company with a robust and powerful set of tools and services designed specifically for the video game industry. Since its founding in 2005, Xsolla has helped thousands of game developers and publishers of all sizes fund, market, launch and monetize their games globally and across multiple platforms. As an innovative leader in game commerce, Xsolla’s mission is to solve the inherent complexities of global distribution, marketing, and monetization to help our partners reach more geographies, generate more revenue and create relationships with gamers worldwide. Headquartered and incorporated in Los Angeles, California, with offices in Berlin, Seoul, Beijing, Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo and cities around the world, Xsolla supports major gaming titles like Valve, Twitch, Roblox, Ubisoft, Epic Games, Take-Two, KRAFTON, Nexters, NetEase, Playstudios, Playrix, miHoYo, and more.

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Media and Broadcasting

iMedia Brands Completes Successful Transaction for Asset Sale to IV Media, LLC

businesswire | August 18, 2023

Global media company iMedia Brands, Inc. announced that it has successfully closed its Asset and Equity Purchase Agreement (“AEPA”) with IV Media, LLC (“IV Media”), a subsidiary of Innovation Ventures, LLC, the producer and distributor of 5-hour ENERGY shots. Through the AEPA, IV Media has acquired substantially all assets of iMedia Brands on a going-concern basis, including its ShopHQ Networks, 1-2-3.tv, iMDS, J.W. Hulme, and Christopher & Banks businesses for approximately $55 million of transaction value, plus the assumption of certain liabilities, contracts, and ongoing expenses. “On behalf of iMedia, I am pleased to announce the purchase of iMedia’s operating assets by IV Media,” said James Alt, Chief Transformation Officer, iMedia. “Under new ownership, both companies will be well positioned to grow and achieve great success together well into the future. With IV Media’s partnership, iMedia will continue delivering customers the diverse range of brands they desire through captivating content. Today’s announcement is a great outcome for iMedia, and I thank our valued team and partners for their continued support during this process.” “We are pleased with the outcome and the process and are looking forward to working closely with iMedia going forward,” said Vince Bodiford, Head of Communications, Innovation Ventures, LLC and 5-hour ENERGY®. Following completion of the court-approved auction process on August 10, 2023, and in consultation with lenders and the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors, the Company selected IV Media, LLC as the winning bidder. At the Sale Hearing on August 14, 2023, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware approved iMedia’s entry into the AEPA pursuant to Section 363 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Ropes & Gray LLP and Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones LLP are serving as legal counsel, Lincoln International LLC is serving as investment banker, Huron Consulting Group is serving as financial advisor, and C Street Advisory Group is serving as strategy and communications advisor to the Company. Greenberg Traurig, LLP and Oakland Law Group, PLLC are serving as legal counsel to IV Media. About iMedia Brands, Inc iMedia Brands, Inc is a global media company capitalizing on the convergence of entertainment, ecommerce, and advertising. The Company owns and operates four television networks, which are ShopHQ, ShopBulldogTV, ShopHQHealth and 123tv. ShopHQ, the company’s flagship television network with a thirty-year history, is nationally distributed in the U.S. to over 90 million homes via its affiliation agreements in cable, satellite, and broadcast, and reach viewers through its social platforms and its OTT App on Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire and Samsung Smart-televisions.

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G2E 2023

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NACS Show 2023

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G2E 2023

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