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***For Immediate Release***
Interlude Announces Strategic Investment By Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios
$18.2 Million Funding Round Enables Broader Moves into Drama, Comedy, Pop Culture, News, and Music
NEW YORK – December 8, 2015 – Interlude, a media and technology company that is pioneering a new kind of video that responds to a person's emotions and interests, announced today that Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios (MGM) has made a strategic investment in the company. As part of the investment, MGM's Chairman and CEO Gary Barber has also joined as Board Observer for the company. Interlude's industry-leading interactive technology is changing the dynamic between content and consumer. The company's form of seamless, responsive video empowers both viewers and creators to form a deeper, more meaningful relationship through video. MGM Television previously announced a partnership with Interlude to create an original digital short inspired by MGM's three-time Academy Award® nominated 1983 feature film “WarGames.” MGM is joined in this $18.2 million funding round by Warner Music Group, Samsung, and returning investors including Sequoia Capital, Intel Capital and others.
“Though video has always been a very powerful storytelling medium, it has not, to date, been able to adjust and adapt from viewer to viewer,” said Yoni Bloch, founder and CEO of Interlude. “But we are aiming to allow filmmakers and content to form a unique connection with each viewer. This has the potential to change the relationship between film and individual audience members.”
“MGM continues to expand its footprint by identifying innovative platforms and technologies, such as Interlude, to introduce new audiences to our creative content,” said Barber.
Interlude has, to date, been primarily known for its award-winning and internationally acclaimed work with music video and branded content. It will use the new funds to build on its momentum. This expansion has three components: creating new forms of serialized video content spanning drama, comedy, news, sports, music and pop culture; growing the Interlude ecosystem of creators; and advancing the unique technology that realizes the vision of video that feels and responds.
Because Interlude's content is designed to adapt to a person's interests and preferences, it brings video in line with other forms of digital media that have long embraced personalization. While traditional, “linear” video is focused on offering viewers a “lean-back” experience, Interlude video leads fans to “lean into” the content, encouraging them to actively form deeper bonds with the narrative through in-video participation and customization.
The power of this bond dramatically impacts a viewer's engagement and retention; Interlude content has an average of 10 times better engagement, retention, and sharing versus traditional Internet video content. This has substantial business implications for Interlude partners who use the platform, both in entertainment and advertising.
Over the past year, a number of Interlude projects have gone live. Interlude and Morgan Spurlock's Warrior Poets recently announced a co-production partnership on “Call Bulls#!t”, a unique, fact-checking, interactive treatment of news. Carly Rae Jepsen's video “Run Away with Me” was relaunched as an interactive experience; musical artists Aloe Blacc, CeeLo Green, Led Zeppelin and Coldplay have launched Interlude experiences based on their music. Moreover, a number of branded content projects like Coca-Cola's Mother's Day and MTV's Scream have used Interlude. Interlude's technology is also being used by third party producers for a BBC interactive drama, “Casualty: First Day” and a murder mystery online series, “Virtual Morality”.
Interlude (www.interlude.fm) is pioneering a new form of media in which video can respond to a person’s actions and interests in real-time. Stories told using our patented technology platform can adapt in a multitude of directions; like in a video game, the viewer steps into the story to make choices that affect dialogue, and even the plot, at any particular moment in time. This means that viewers are offered nearly infinite experiences in live-action video within a single piece of content. The result is highly engaging game-like videos that consumers play over and over. We partner with entertainment companies, independent creators, and top brands to create episodic series that are distributed widely through a network of affiliates on the mobile web, mobile apps, and the web. Interlude investors include Sequoia Capital, NEA, Marker, and Innovation Endeavors. Strategic investors include MGM, Intel Capital, Warner Music Group and Samsung. The company is based in New York, NY with additional offices in Tel Aviv, Israel and Los Angeles, CA.
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer is a leading entertainment company focused on the production and global distribution of film and television content. The company owns one of the world's deepest libraries of premium film and television content. In addition, MGM has investments in domestic and international television channels and is the majority owner of and distributor for United Artists Media Group (UAMG). For more information, visit www.mgm.com.