MEDIA AND BROADCASTING

Xfinite and Eros Now Expand Partnership for Blockchain-based Content Engagement Program on Algorand

Eros Now, Xfinite | June 10, 2021

Xfinite and Eros Now, a leading over-the-top (OTT) South Asian entertainment platform owned by global entertainment company Eros STX Global Corporation, announced it had deepened its partnership with Xfinite's Mzaalo platform, a gamified video streaming service on track to have 10M users by year-end. The association further establishes Eros Now's footprint in advertising video-on-demand (AVOD), a still-developing segment of the India streaming market with significant growth potential, while allowing Eros Now to continue building its core subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service.

This partnership also adds to the 25 premium linear TV feeds and VOD platforms and plans to expand further to reach 200 content partners. Given Xfinite's innovative business model, this agreement also puts ErosSTX in a leadership position regarding digital asset growth and the use of blockchain technology. Algorand will serve as the foundational blockchain infrastructure as Xfinite selected the scalable blockchain to accommodate its accelerating adoption.

Mzaalo is a decentralized application ("dApp") built on Algorand blockchain technology which operates a gamified streaming service offering more than 15,000 hours of premium content, as well as new mechanisms for engaging with content and other consumers. The Mzaalo dApp provides consumers with free access to premium content, including films, original series, short-form content from Eros Now and other media platforms, and a range of interactive features. Mzaalo consumers are rewarded for their engagement via enhanced social engagement features and innovative incentivization mechanisms, including a digital token – the XET token.

Xfinite is an entertainment platform built around the digital token, XET, an Algorand Standard Asset. The XET token serves as the native currency of the Xfinite ecosystem and functions as a unique value exchange and governance mechanism for all stakeholders, including users, brands and influencers, and content producers. The XET token will offer its holders many benefits, including unique value exchange and tap into economic incentives the Xfinite platform provides. Mzaalo, Xfinite's first entertainment application, provides consumers with free access to premium content, including films, original series, short-form content from Eros Now, and other media platforms, as well as a range of interactive features. Mzaalo consumers can earn rewards for their engagement that can be spent across fan tokens, merchandise, games, and charitable giving through over 500 brand partners.

By "tokenizing" attention and engagement, consumers will be rewarded for their increased viewership, and brands and influencers are given new ways to engage with their audiences. In this new ecosystem, consumers are treated equitably as partners in the relationship, and brands and influencers can vastly increase their ROI through hyper-targeted and measurable user engagement. The ErosSTX partnership with Mzaalo is the first of its kind anywhere in the OTT space globally.

India and emerging markets worldwide are characterized by a crowded digital marketing space growing exponentially as brands shift away from traditional media such as print and television to capture digital growth. In 2020, India had nearly 700 million internet users across the country. This figure was projected to grow to over 974 million users by 2025, indicating a big market potential in internet services for the South Asian country. India is now on the cusp of a massive revolution with digital marketing making inroads and brands looking beyond urban markets. The tokenization approach offered by Mzaalo to monetizing engagement is uniquely suited to the Indian digital consumer who currently has a plethora of content choices available.

About Eros Now
Eros Now, a division of Eros STX Global Corporation, is the world's leading Indian OTT platform with over 19 million premium paid subscribers and 224 million registered users from over 150 countries across the globe. It offers endless entertainment hosting one of the largest movie libraries (over 12,000 digital titles), as well as premium original episodic series, music videos unmatched in quantity and quality. Eros Now also has a deep library of short-form content, totaling over 4,400 short-form videos, including trailers, original short exclusive interviews, and marketing shorts. Eros Now was named the 'Best OTT Platform of the Year 2019' at the British Asian Media Awards. The platform has also won awards for original content and marketing at the SCREENXX 2020.

About Xfinite
Xfinite is a blockchain-based platform designed to re-establish trust between consumers, content creators, and publishers. Through viewer-based rewards, the Xfinite ecosystem helps the media and entertainment industry combat advertising fraud by increasing transparency and creating a new habit of engagement. Xfinite has established partnerships with global corporations to drive innovation and create new use cases for blockchain technology. Recent collaborations include: Dailyhunt, which has 280 million active users; SpiceJet, which annually flies +60 million passengers across India; and Eros Now which has 36.2M paying subscribers and 216M registered users.

Spotlight

NexTech AR CEO Evan Gappelberg joined Steve Darling from Proactive Investors to discuss the company opening up a division that is focussed on Virtual Reality and will be called VRitize.


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BUSINESS

TA Associates to Acquire TouchTunes

TouchTunes | March 31, 2022

TouchTunes, a leading in-venue, interactive music and entertainment platform,announced that TA Associates, a leading global growth private equity firm, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the company from funds advised by Searchlight Capital Partners, L.P. (“Searchlight”) and Newlight Partners LP (“Newlight”). Partnering together, TouchTunes and TA aim to accelerate the company’s growth and innovation across existing and new markets. Financial terms of the transactions were not disclosed.TouchTunes has established a network of more than 65,000 connected digital jukeboxes in bars, brewpubs, restaurants and other social spaces across North America and Europe. The company’s digital jukeboxes allow music lovers to choose the music that plays in their favorite venues, adapting over time to highlight the songs and artists most played in a location. Music selections can be controlled from the jukebox or smartphones through the company’s popular companion app, which also helps users find nearby jukebox locations. TouchTunes jukeboxes also offer a variety of interactive experiences, including an integrated photo booth solution. “TA is highly impressed with the deep commitment TouchTunes has to creating a high-quality music experience. The company’s continuous innovation, strong relationships with venues and jukebox operators, and skilled management team all help to deliver the desired experience for customers,TouchTunes has already established itself as a market leader, but we see opportunity for continued innovation and expansion. We are excited to invest in TouchTunes at this moment in its growth and look forward to partnering closely with the TouchTunes management team.” -Michael Berk, a Managing Director at TA TouchTunes has succeeded by delivering innovative, shared music experiences that inspire emotional connections,said Ross Honey, TouchTunes President and CEO. TA is an ideal partner for TouchTunes moving forward as we look to continue our growth, offering the experience and resources we need to accelerate expansion of TouchTunes’ network, audience and markets. We look forward to working with TA to build on our strengths and drive new opportunities. We would also like to thank both Searchlight and Newlight for their partnership and guidance over the past few years. LionTree Advisors served as exclusive financial advisor to TouchTunes and its shareholders on the transaction. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals and is expected to close in early April. About TouchTunes TouchTunes is the largest in-venue interactive music and entertainment platform, with its connected jukeboxes featured in more than 59,000 bars and restaurants across North America and 6,000 in Europe. TouchTunes' platform provides location-based digital solutions that inspire social interactions through shared experiences. Music is the core of TouchTunes' experience, with millions of songs played daily across the network and a popular companion mobile app that lets anyone find nearby jukebox locations, create playlists, and control the in-venue music directly from their phone. In addition, TouchTunes supports a highly scalable digital out-of-home activation platform that provides targeted advertising and promotional opportunities for consumer brands. We are proud of our strong relationships with a network of over 2,500 local jukebox operators who install our equipment and take responsibility for maintenance, promotion, service, and support. TouchTunes is headquartered in New York City, with offices in Chicago, Montreal, and London. For more information, visit http://www.touchtunes.com and follow TouchTunes on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the latest company news. About TA Associates TA is a leading global growth private equity firm. Focused on targeted sectors within five industries – technology, healthcare, financial services, consumer, and business services – the firm invests in profitable, growing companies with opportunities for sustained growth and has invested in more than 550 companies around the world. Investing as either a majority or minority investor, TA employs a long-term approach, utilizing its strategic resources to help management teams build lasting value in high quality growth companies. TA has raised $47.5 billion in capital since its founding in 1968. The firm’s more than 100 investment professionals are based in Boston, Menlo Park, London, Mumbai and Hong Kong. More information about TA can be found at www.ta.com. About Searchlight Capital Partners, L.P. Searchlight is a global private investment firm with over $10 billion in assets under management and offices in New York, London and Toronto. Searchlight seeks to invest in businesses where its long-term capital and strategic support accelerate value creation for all stakeholders. For more information, please visit www.searchlightcap.com. About Newlight Partners LP Newlight Partners LP is a growth-focused middle market private equity firm that builds businesses in partnership with exceptional founders and management teams. The Newlight team has been investing together since 2005, originally as the Strategic Investments Group at Soros Fund Management LLC, and now as Newlight after the team's spin-out in 2018. Newlight’s thematic investment approach focuses on identifying and addressing marketplace opportunities in rapidly growing subsectors. Newlight currently has over $4 billion in capital commitments and assets under management. For more information, please visit www.newlightpartners.com.

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TECHNOLOGIES

AVIA records biggest turnout yet for the Asia Video Summit 2020

Asia Video Industry Association, Create Hong Kong | November 24, 2020

This year's summit was attended by over 1000 delegates globally and featured the industry's first hybrid event with live gatherings in both Hong Kong and Singapore. HONG KONG, Nov 24, 2020 - (ACN Newswire) - The Asia Video Industry Association (AVIA) held its annual state of the industry event, the Asia Video Summit (the Summit), which was supported by Create Hong Kong of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region as the Lead Sponsor, on 10 to 12 November 2020 with resounding success as over 1000 delegates from the Asian video industry gathered for the Summit. With most sessions live and broadcast from the studio to a backdrop of Hong Kong or Singapore, the Summit was produced to a very high standard and caps what has been a successful series of virtual events and webinars for AVIA. AVIA was honoured to have Mr. Edward Yau, GBS, JP, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region officiated at the Opening Session of the Summit by delivering a speech video-telephonically on the first day of the Summit. The Summit opened with a macro-economic update from S&P Global Ratings' Managing Director and Chief Economist, Shaun Roache, who remained upbeat about the economy and how the potential of an early vaccine for COVID-19 could bring recovery forward, with less permanent damage. The way people consume goods and services would also change fundamentally and would be the key thing to watch over the next 1 to 2 years. However, it would take time for economic activity to resurrect, "A dimmer switch rather than a flick of the switch", commented Shaun. This fundamental shift is also seen in consumer viewing habits, as the myriad of ways to access content and the development of technology has also revolutionized how consumers view TV and video today, shared Annette Kunst, Regional MD, Southeast Asia and New Zealand, Nielsen Media, during her session on The Fortunes of Free TV. As more broadcasters embrace change and adapt the models of streaming, the old adage of "Content is King" continues to ring true, as content is what drives people to platforms. With local content being the key connectors to audiences and driving viewership in SEA, collaboration too becomes key between content providers and producers. And in the pay TV world, this collaboration extends to streamers and partners as well. However, the tone of optimism remains across both free and pay TV, with our panel of industry leaders agreeing that both platforms still have a role to play despite an increasingly fragmented and diversified media landscape. While content remains king, the title for queen is much contested, as our various panelists had differing views. With Parminder Singh, Chief Commercial and Digital Officer, Mediacorp, distribution is the queen, while according to Ivy Wong, CEO of VS Media "the community is the Queen". Herexperience with local creators showed the importance of not only building content but also the community around it. This sentiment was also shared by Agnes Rozario, Director of Content, Astro, on her panel on Content Cravings. Agnes reiterated the need to produce content that is relevant and close to the hearts of their viewers through data mining and analytics, to inform decision making on the content piece and to put consumers first in order to engage them. Data is also the big focus in the world of Premium Advertising. Mitch Waters, SVP of South-East Asia, Australia and New Zealand, The Trade Desk, shared the need to showcase the true scale of consumption, and to have transparent access to data and information, which requires a lot of trust, collaboration and partnership from both the buy and sell sides, to get to programmatic faster. However, questions remain about Cross Media Measurement and if it will ever happen. Added Nick Burfitt, MD, Asia, Kantar Media, "Audience measurement is now a team sport", with the issues being both technical and commercial. Anthony Dobson, VP, Media Partners Asia & MD, AMPD Research, commented on his panel, "We have found the holy grail but the goblet is broken, all the innovation and technology is available, it's missing the will and investment to make it happen." Despite all the innovation, technology and data at hand though, Tom Keaveny, Chief Innovation & Information Officer, beIN Media Group, summed it up best at his closing panel, "It's not old media or new media... it needs to be all media. Great content... will always find its value and the ones who can curate it, treat it, market it and price it the best, will be the ultimate winners." AVIA would like to thank the Asia Video Summit 2020's Lead Sponsor Create Hong Kong of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region for the Community Outreach Programme which provided free passes for local SMEs in the video industry and tertiary students of relevant programmes to participate in the Summit and workshops; Gold Sponsors Baker McKenzie, Brightcove, DOCOMO Digital, Google, Magnite, Nielsen, SpotX, TV5MONDE, Viaccess-Orca, WarnerMedia; Silver Sponsors Alibaba Cloud, AsiaSat, Bounty Media, Digital Ocean, InMobi, InvestHK, INVIDI, Kaltura, MEASAT, MediaKind, Nagra, Netflix, PubMatic, SES, Vuulr, Xandr. About the Asia Video Industry Association (AVIA) AVIA is the trade association for the video industry and ecosystem in Asia-Pacific. It serves to make the video industry stronger and healthier through promoting the common interests of its members. AVIA is the interlocutor for the industry with governments across the region, leads the fight against video piracy and provides insight into the video industry to support a vibrant industry ecosystem. About Create Hong Kong Create Hong Kong (CreateHK) is a dedicated agency set up by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in June 2009. It is under the Communications and Creative Industries Branch of the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau and dedicated to spearheading the development of creative industries in Hong Kong. Its strategic foci are nurturing talent and facilitating start-ups, exploring markets, and promoting Hong Kong as Asia's creative capital and fostering a creative atmosphere in the community. Website: www.createhk.gov.hk For media enquiries and additional background please contact: Charmaine Kwan Head of Marketing and Communications Email: charmaine@avia.org Website: www.avia.org LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/asiavideoia Twitter: @AsiaVideoIA

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BUSINESS

Vindex Partners With IAB to Unlock Media and Sponsorship Value Across Gaming, Esports, and Live Streaming

Vindex | April 06, 2022

Vindex, a global gaming technology company, announced a partnership with the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), the digital media and marketing trade association, to unlock the full extent of media and sponsorship opportunities in gaming, esports, and live streaming for brands and advertisers. Launching today, the Vindex Intelligence Platform, will leverage the company’s vast data collection capability across the games content ecosystem, combined with a powerful insights and analytics platform to equip stakeholders with actionable measurement, growth, and engagement solutions.“The Vindex Intelligence Platform is a major step toward overcoming a key hurdle of decentralized data and measurement in the game content ecosystem,” said Mike Sepso, CEO & Co-founder, Vindex. “The platform provides brands and agencies with a better understanding of the gaming audience and gives advertisers the confidence to navigate this continually evolving space. In partnership with the IAB, we’ll have a unique opportunity to bring game publishers, esports teams, and the larger creator economy together with advertisers.” Vindex and IAB will collaborate to improve transparency and reduce friction in the gaming and esports ad buying process through active workshops with brands, marketers, and video game publishers during an IAB Brand Academy. IAB Brand Academy is a series of classes exclusively curated for brand marketers and agency executives to help them connect with publishers, platforms, and data companies to learn how they can leverage tools, data, and insights to help them make decisions that are critical to driving business growth. “While the gaming consumer continues to be one of the most valuable for brands and advertisers to target, the omnichannel nature and lack of data make this group difficult to reach, IAB applauds industry leaders like Vindex who are developing data solutions and insights to help demystify the games content ecosystem.” -Zoë Soon, VP Experience Center, IAB The Vindex Intelligence Platform, demystifies the gaming space by identifying audiences with open and transparent metrics, comparisons between streaming destinations, and facilitating the measurement of media value and campaign performance among ad buyers and sellers. The proprietary technology measures audience engagement, media consumption habits, and player activity trends across live streaming platforms, esports events, and VOD content. The platform is designed to address the unique needs of the gaming and streaming worlds. Available to advertisers, broadcasters, creators, and publishers, the Vindex Intelligence Platform provides partners with a 360-degree view of the gaming consumer, empowering them to allocate spend more effectively, identify industry trends, and provide richer experiences for fans. Vindex will circulate its findings through a regular cadence of reports as well as offer specialized programs for industry stakeholders. The Vindex Intelligence Platform has been developed by a team of data scientists and engineers from top research, technology, and entertainment companies including Disney, Nielsen, YouGov, FanDuel and Uber. The team is supported by Vindex leadership, representing sports and media executives from esteemed companies such as Major League Gaming, Activision Blizzard, UFC, and more. Vindex subsidiary Esports Engine employs Vindex Intelligence Platform’s sophisticated viewership and engagement metrics to strengthen its offerings across broadcast, production, and event operations. Belong Gaming Arenas utilizes the platform to curate new game titles and customize programming for a highly personalized consumer experience across its international network of gaming arenas. Vindex’s IAB Brand Academy will begin sessions in June. About Vindex Vindex is a global technology company powering the future of esports and gaming. Vindex creates programming, technology, and experiences to drive deeper engagement across the global gaming industry through its suite of content, community, and data solutions. About IAB The Interactive Advertising Bureau empowers the media and marketing industries to thrive in the digital economy. Its membership comprises more than 700 leading media companies, brands, agencies, and the technology firms responsible for selling, delivering, and optimizing digital ad marketing campaigns. The trade group fields critical research on interactive advertising, while also educating brands, agencies, and the wider business community on the importance of digital marketing. In affiliation with the IAB Tech Lab, IAB develops technical standards and solutions. IAB is committed to professional development and elevating the knowledge, skills, expertise, and diversity of the workforce across the industry. Through the work of its public policy office in Washington, D.C., the trade association advocates for its members and promotes the value of the interactive advertising industry to legislators and policymakers. Founded in 1996, IAB is headquartered in New York City.

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APPLICATIONS

Charter and Comcast Announce Joint Venture to Develop and Nationally Offer a Next Generation Streaming Platform

Charter & Comcast | April 28, 2022

Charter Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: CHTR) and Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ: CMCSA) announced that the two companies have formed a 50/50 joint venture to develop and offer a next-generation streaming platform on a variety of branded 4K streaming devices and smart TVs, providing consumers with a world-class user experience and navigation, all the top apps, and more choice in the streaming marketplace. The joint venture will offer app developers, streamers, retailers, operators, and hardware manufacturers the opportunity to reach customers in major markets across the country with the platform.Comcast will license Flex, its aggregated streaming platform and hardware to the joint venture, contribute the retail business for XClass TVs and also will contribute Xumo, a streaming service it acquired in 2020. Charter will make an initial contribution of $900 million, funded over multiple years. The XClass TVs will be available through national retail partners and potentially direct from Comcast and Charter to provide more customer choice. Xumo will continue to operate as a free global streaming service available through the joint venture’s products and third-party devices. Charter will offer the 4K streaming TV devices and voice remotes beginning in 2023. Comcast will continue to offer the Flex streaming platform as a streaming device and service to its customers. "We’re thrilled to partner with Charter to bring this platform and its award-winning experience to millions of new customers. These products are all designed to make search and discovery across live, on-demand and streaming video seamless and incredibly simple for consumers, This partnership uniquely brings together more than a decade of technical innovation, national scale and new opportunities to monetize our combined investment.” -Dave Watson, CEO of Comcast Cable. Our new venture will bring a full-featured operating platform, new devices, and smart TVs with a robust app store providing a more streamlined and aggregated experience for the customer,”said Tom Rutledge, Charter Chairman and CEO. As the video landscape continues to evolve, this venture will increase retail consumer options, compete at scale with established national platforms, and join our existing lineup of options for the Spectrum TV App available on most customer-owned streaming devices. The joint venture’s products will give consumers a state-of-the-art streaming experience to access their favorite apps, based on Comcast’s Flex product, which currently delivers all the most-watched streaming apps in the marketplace. The products will feature hundreds of free content choices through Xumo, a free, ad-supported service currently delivering more than 200 unique streaming channels. Peacock also will be featured on the joint venture’s streaming platform, alongside other popular apps. The closing of the joint venture is subject to customary closing conditions. This joint venture does not involve the broadband or cable video businesses of either Comcast or Charter which will remain independent. About Charter Charter Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ:CHTR) is a leading broadband connectivity company and cable operator serving more than 32 million customers in 41 states through its Spectrum brand. Over an advanced communications network, the company offers a full range of state-of-the-art residential and business services including Spectrum Internet®, TV, Mobile and Voice. For small and medium-sized companies, Spectrum Business® delivers the same suite of broadband products and services coupled with special features and applications to enhance productivity, while for larger businesses and government entities, Spectrum Enterprise provides highly customized, fiber-based solutions. Spectrum Reach® delivers tailored advertising and production for the modern media landscape. The company also distributes award-winning news coverage, sports and high-quality original programming to its customers through Spectrum Networks and Spectrum Originals. More information about Charter can be found at corporate.charter.com. About Comcast Corporation Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is a global media and technology company that connects people to moments that matter. We are principally focused on connectivity, aggregation, and streaming with 57 million customer relationships across the United States and Europe. We deliver broadband, wireless, and video through our Xfinity, Comcast Business, and Sky brands; create, distribute, and stream leading entertainment, sports, and news through Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, Universal Studio Group, Sky Studios, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, multiple cable networks, Peacock, NBCUniversal News Group, NBC Sports, Sky News, and Sky Sports; and provide memorable experiences at Universal Parks and Resorts in the United States and Asia. Visit www.comcastcorporation.com for more information.

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