×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Warner Bros. Buys Stake in Digital-Video Startup TV4 Entertainment (EXCLUSIVE)

Warner Bros., fresh off its investment in YouTube multichannel network Machinima, has taken a minority stake in TV4 Entertainment, a startup building a portfolio of special-interest broadband television networks.

The size of the investment is not being disclosed. TV4 Entertainment was founded in 2012 by Jon Cody, previously senior VP of digital for Fox Digital Media and the general manager of Hulu’s launch in 2007.

TV4, under the banner of Television Four, is aiming to create and distribute special-interest broadband channels in genres that are “poorly served” by TV networks today, Cody said.

SEE ALSO: Warner Bros. Is Buying a Stake in Struggling YouTube Net Machinima. Here’s Why

For Warner Bros., the investment is another move to stay plugged in to the evolving digital-video ecosystem. With its stake in Machinima, the studio is looking to extend its properties to the MCN’s mostly young male demo and potentially develop talent for TV or movie projects. Meanwhile, parent Time Warner had invested in Maker Studios, the YouTube MCN that is being acquired by Disney for at least $500 million.

TV4 has more than 50 content partners and has about 5,000 hours of video in development, according to Cody. The startup is developing “niches that we think there is a passionate audience around,” he said. It has about 30 networks in the works, and expects to launch 15 in 2014.

So far, TV4 has launched channels with shortform content on Hulu, including “McKenna,” with Paul McKenna’s interviews with entertainment-industry personalities including Harvey Weinstein and Simon Cowell; Combat Aviation, featuring footage of U.S. military aircraft; and documentary channel DoComTV.

Cody shuns the MCN label, saying that TV4 is looking to create content that is higher quality than what is available on YouTube. “It’s like a miniature of what Fox Digital was, but for the broadband era,” Cody said. That said, TV4 has a YouTube presence. “We can build audience on the backs of others,” he said.

In addition to Warner Bros.’s investment, TV4 has received angel funding. Cody declined to disclose investors or amount raised to date. The Santa Monica, Calif.-based startup has 15 employees.

More Digital

  • Netflix iPhone mobile app

    Netflix Tries Out Mobile-Only Subscription Plan in India

    Streaming giant Netflix is testing a mobile-only subscription in India that costs half of its basic plan. Netflix India’s monthly plans begin at INR500 ($7.27). The mobile only plan is being trialled at INR250 ($3.63) per month. “We are always looking for ways to make Netflix more enjoyable and accessible,” a Netflix spokesperson told Variety. [...]

  • How Netflix Uses Technology: A Look

    How Netflix Wants to Take on Its Competition in 2019 and Beyond

    “They’re going to do some great shows. I’m going to be envious.” Netflix CEO Reed Hastings practiced humility when he was asked about new competitors like Disney’s and Apple’s upcoming streaming services this week. “These are amazing, large, well-funded companies with very significant efforts,” he said. “But you do your best job when you have [...]

  • AVOD streaming video OTT users -

    Comcast Unveils 'Flex,' a Streaming Service for Internet Customers

    Comcast said it would unveil “Flex,” a hub for its Internet-only customers that allows them to stream and purchase shows and movies, the latest effort by a traditional cable provider to latch on to customers who are migrating to broadband services, The Philadelphia cable giant will also make free, ad-supported services available via the service, [...]

  • splice

    Splice Raises $57.5 Million in Latest Funding Round

    Splice, a favorite of music creators that allows access to a library of three million rights-cleared sounds, announced today that the company closed a Series C funding round at $57.5 million. That brings Splice’s total amount raised to roughly $102 million since its launch in 2013. It raised a Series B in November of 2017. [...]

  • Facebook's 'Red Table Talk' Garners Daytime

    Facebook's 'Red Table Talk' Garners Daytime Emmy Nomination

    Facebook is now in the awards hunt: Its popular original series “Red Table Talk” hosted by Jada Pinkett Smith was nominated for a 2019 Daytime Emmy. It appears to be the first-ever Daytime Emmy Awards nomination for a Facebook-funded show, although a company rep was unable to confirm that. “Red Table Talk” is nominated in [...]

  • MLB-TV

    MLB.TV Joins Lineup on Amazon's Prime Video Channels

    Amazon has launched MLB.TV on Prime Video Channels for Prime members in the U.S., just in time for the start of Major League Baseball’s 2019 regular season start next week. The MLB.TV package provides regular-season out-of-market baseball games, both live and on-demand. Prime members in the U.S. can subscribe to MLB.TV for $24.99 per month, [...]

  • Tencent Music Shares Drop Despite Solid

    Tencent Music Shares Drop Despite Solid First Earnings Report

    Proving that good is not always good enough, Tencent Music Entertainment shares fell 9 percent after the Chinese company released its 2018 earnings, wiping out $2.7 billion in market capitalization of what is arguably the biggest audio music service in the world. Chalk it up to big expectations and a short track record: Wednesday’s earnings [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content