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THE FUSE: Entertaindom Invests in Animation, Sega Goes Broadband, and Variety's Interactive Summit

Indiewire By Indiewire | Indiewire February 8, 2000 at 2:0AM

Entertaindom Invests in Animation, Sega Goes Broadband, and Variety's Interactive Summit
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Entertaindom Invests in Animation, Sega Goes Broadband, and Variety's Interactive Summit

by Tim LaTorre/EB Insider


>> Entertaindom Invests in Animation

Continuing the trend of empowering animation and animators online,
Time Warner's Entertaindom.com announced a strong strategic partnership
with animation content and technology company Pulse Entertainment,
out of San Francisco. The deal will extend the use of Pulse's 3D
interactive animation player and content across Entertaindom, used
on such shorts as "Marvin the Martian" and "Dr. Science". The
deal also includes a significant equity investment, a first for
Entertaindom, and hints at more content investments to come from
the growing online next-gen entertainment portal. Going forward,
Entertaindom and Pulse will co-develop and produce new franchise
content, such as the upcoming "L'il Green Men," about tiny visitors
from space. It is an example of the new partnership models
growing to fill the new online entertainment boom, as Warner
Brothers
will handle much of the creative writing and voice talent
chores, while Pulse handles the creative execution. Both companies
will share any revenues from merchandising, ecommerce and
advertising, not to mention any eventual move off-line into TV
or movies. Further evidence that, when it comes to animation
content, the Internet tail is wagging the TV/movie dog.


[For more info, visit: http://www.entertaindom.com, and http://www.pulse3D.com.]



>> Beating Sony to the Punch, Sega Goes Broadband

Fulfilling industry predictions and beating out rival Sony, Sega is
the first gaming powerhouse to form a major broadband play,
announcing a deal with 30 Japanese cable companies to create a
large high-speed cable Internet service centered around the Dreamcast
home gaming console. The announcement highlights a sometimes
neglected corner of the broadband convergence scene, the battle
between gaming companies to take advantage of broadband to converge
gaming, music, and movies with network interactivity. Sony's
Playstation is nearing an announcement of its own broadband
strategy - they seem to be attempting a wireless strategy, but
when it comes to North America, some sort of cable network deal
seems inevitable. Both companies are looking ahead to offering other
services via these new connections, as have companies in the
digital audio and video-on-demand fields. Tests of the service,
in which Dreamcast consoles will be outfitted with a local area
network (LAN) adapter to allow for high-speed cable connection,
will begin immediately, with a formal rollout in April.


[For more info, visit: http://www.sega.com and
http://www.sony.com/playstation.]



>> Change of Focus for Variety's Interactive Summit

There wasn't much hard news coming out of Variety's suddenly relevant
Interactive Summit, but there was much intriguing analysis to be had.
After only three years in existence, "The conference has changed
dramatically," said Rick Parkhill, CEO of summit organizer
Digitrends, in Wired Magazine, "before, we talked about how
to use your Web site strategy to drive traffic to theaters and
sell music in stores. Now the sessions are about how to distribute
entertainment over the Internet ...and about the clash of cultures."
Bertelsmann Music Group CEO Strauss Zelnick kicked things off
with an enthused ode to the joys of digital downloading and
video-on-demand, saying memorably, "Digital downloading is the holy
grail." He equated the fear and unease over digital downloading
to similar misplaced fears about VHS when it came out.


The overall consensus seemed to be that big-time Hollywood studios
are going to have to change their ways, and adopt some of the
successful paradigms coming out of the online entertainment sphere.
Namely, innovative business and commerce deals (such as the
aforementioned Entertaindom's partnership with AtomFilms and Pulse
Entertainment
), speed and flexibility, and a willingness to take
chances. And of course, rumors flew at this year's conference about
the next big media deals, partnerships and acquisitions around
the corner. And who can blame them for rumor mongering?
After all, last year's keynote speakers, AOL's Bob Pittman
and Warner's Jim Moloshok, are now part of the biggest and
previously unthinkable media merger in history.


[For more info visit http://www.digitrends.net/events/variety00/]


[EB INSIDER is a free weekly email service exclusively devoted to
the burgeoning next-generation entertainment industry. Check out
this week's feature profile: "MICROCAST: the new Internet Broadcast
Standard?
" at http://www.ebinsider.com.]