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Digital Content

Content Kings: Cloudco, Streaming & Services

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American Greetings Entertainment (AGE) rebrands as Cloudco Entertainment following a recent spinoff by the former division of American Greetings into its own stand-alone company. Cloudco now owns kids brands including Care Bears, Holly Hobbie, Madballs, Buddy Thunderstruck, and Tinpo. Long-time owners the Weiss family retains 100% ownership of Cloudco, and all current key Cloudco executives and management remain in place.

Cloudco will continue with all former AGE marketing initiatives, content development and production activities, and consumer product programs, and partnerships. The new prodco is currently working on the production of three major initiatives:

  1. An all-new Holly Hobbie live-action TV series with Aircraft Productions and Wexworks Media for Hulu, Family Channel in Canada, and The Universal Kids Channel.
  2. Tinpo, an all-new animated series produced for Cbeebies in partnership with OLM/Sprite Animation and Dentsu Inc.
  3. A soon-to-be-announced Care Bears live-action/animated feature film in development with a major Hollywood studio.

The breakway box office successes of recent Star Wars films (save Solo: A Star Wars Story) are being redirected into a live-action series that will cost parentco Disney a reported $100 million and be streamed on its homegrown, as-yet-unnamed platform, per The New York Times. Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) director Jon Favreau will be helming the series, which will step back in the franchise’s timeline, opening seven years after Return of the Jedi.

The NYT reports that the new series will be 10 episodes, portioning the budget to roughly $10 million per episode—the paper notes that the cost beats out other ambitious streaming productions like Netflix’s (cancelled) Sense8, which reportedly cost $9 million an episode in its second season.

In addition to the new Star Wars series, Disney is developing or producing “at least” 9 films for the service, per the NYT—previous statements indicated that there would be 4 or 5 flicks a year available exclusively on the service. While there is no official launch date, the House of Mouse stated that the first MCU film to be exclusively streamed there would be Captain Marvel, which lands in theaters on March 8, 2019.

WarnerMedia picks up two geek-oriented streaming companies as the result of a recent deal by new parentco AT&T. The new arrangement grants WarnerMedia control of anime streamer Crunchyroll and digital media prodco Rooster Teeth.

NBCUniversal is reportedly considering launching a free streaming service and app later this year called Watch Back, per The project is expected to be largely a marketing effort aimed at bringing new audiences to NBCUni’s shows.

The number of SVOD services will increase by 37% by 2023, according to The Digital TV Research, which projects total subsribers will rise to 208 million from 132 million at the end of 2017. Netflix tops the list with 67.3 million streaming subscribers by 2023, followed by Amazon Prime with 60.6 million.


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