MarVista Entertainment launches a new division, MarVista Digital Entertainment, which will license its original and acquired content across digital platforms.
Los Angeles – MarVista Entertainment is now expanding its distribution capabilities with the launch of MarVista Digital Entertainment (MVDE) -- a new digital entertainment division to license its original and acquired content to leading digital platforms across cable, satellite, telco, broadband and consoles throughout North America. The announcement was made today by Fernando Szew, CEO, MarVista Entertainment.
“Over the past several years we have amassed a significant catalog of over 2,000 hours of top notch content, and our strategic plan for the future is to accelerate our level of investment in original and acquired content,” said Szew in making the announcement. “At this juncture, the timing is right for MarVista to capitalize on opportunities in the digital space by creating an in-house division to proactively build relationships with the established and emerging digital platforms across North America, and to do this, we have made a sizeable investment in our operations and human resources.”
The new division, to be helmed by Executive Vice President of Distribution, Vanessa Shapiro, will provide for a much deeper penetration and audience reach of MarVista’s programming, whose expansive distribution footprint—traditional and digital—already spans more than 125 global territories. Scott Kirkpatrick, who joined the company in 2012, will transition into the new role of Director of Distribution for MVDE, responsible for securing new distribution agreements and leveraging the company’s existing digital clients and platform relationships in an effort to grow and manage the unit’s distribution business. Prior, he served as Director of Sales responsible for various international territories.
Rebecca Shipley joins MarVista Entertainment as Manager of Digital Distribution for MVDE, reporting to Kirkpatrick. Shipley will manage MarVista’s digital content and programming slate and promotion strategies for MVDE. Shipley will also have the responsibility for identifying and acquiring titles to exploit across VOD and other digital platforms. Shipley joins the company from Warner Bros. Digital Distribution where she worked in programming and acquisitions.
MVDE contracted with Impact Global Media, a digital media strategy company headed by Eric B. Stein. Stein is a former Warner Bros. digital executive, who advised and executed on the overall digital strategy for the new division, including market positioning, brand, distribution and content partnerships. With extensive experience in all facets of new media content licensing, Stein is a programming, acquisitions and business development executive with over 14 years of experience in the digital distribution business.
MVDE’s content pipeline is comprised of the company’s original productions and co-productions, and third party acquisitions, with 40 new titles in the works for 2014 that MarVista will produce, finance, co-finance, or acquire. The company’s original productions include over 150 movies that have been licensed to premier U.S. and international channels, including Disney Channel, Nickelodeon, Lifetime Television, Hallmark Channel, ION and Syfy. The company is also primed to further its position as an aggregator of third party programming to supply to the U.S. digital outlets, given its reputation as a trusted third party distributor for over 1,500 hours of programming.
A significant investment into MVDE’s infrastructure, including EMC Isilon Servers and additional software solutions, will streamline digital delivery processes for the new division and provide the foundation to efficiently distribute content across all platforms. The new technology investments also allow for various post-production capabilities to be handled internally.
MVDE will bring to the marketplace curated monthly program slates, with a steady output of at least two new release titles and at least three catalog titles, each comprised of high quality, independent and popular family, teen and tween content. The MVDE launch kicks off August 1, 2014 with the release of the teen comedy Zapped, starring Zendaya (Disney’s Shake it Up and upcoming Disney’s K.C. Undercover), which made its world debut on Disney Channel on June 27, followed by its digital debut on June 28 on iTunes. The company’s August slate of digital releases will also includes thedramatic thriller Fatal Acquittal, starring Joely Fisher (‘Til Death) and Denise Richards (Wild Things); the inspirational family comedy If I Had Wings starring Craig Bierko (Boston Legal) and Jill Hennessy (Crossing Jordan); and the crime thriller Betrayed, starring Amanda Schull (Suits).
Additionally, one new release music special/documentary will premiere per quarter offering an intimate look at some of today’s hottest artists as well as their creative inspiration, influences and challenges on their journey, to include One Direction, Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, Rihanna, Britney Spears, Madonna and more.
Source: MarVista Entertainment
Jennifer Wolfe is Director of News & Content at Animation World Network.