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M&A & New Media

Hasbro launches its first-ever subscription service in April with the Gaming Crate, priced at $49.99 per crate, plus shipping. Each box includes three curated games that are new to the Hasbro Gaming portfolio. The crates fall into two themes: Family, which offers games designed to be played together by kids and adults, and Party, which contains games geared towards adult game nights.

Disney‘s annual fan event—D23 Expo 2017—lands this year on Jul. 14–16 at the Anaheim Convention Center. In addition to access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities, fans will be able to purchase exclusive merchandise. The featured franchises include Pixar, Star Wars, Minnie Mouse, Marvel, and Her Universe.

London-based Blue Zoo gets a $92-million funding injection from Zhong Ze-owned China U.K. Animation Company (CU Animation) to launch a new joint-venture called Lanzu. Lanzu will initially provide non-exclusive funding for the development and production of an animated feature film, as well as at least five additional projects over the next five years.

Reuters reports that French media conglomerate Vivendi is looking to expand its video games and advertising capabilities—and is eying advertising firm Havas and video game publisher Ubisoft for takeover bids. Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot has vocally opposed the takeover.

The Nordstrom family is contemplating a buyout of their struggling retailer, according to WWD. If the family succeeds in taking Nordstrom private, it would be the biggest retail deal since Federated Department Stores and May Co. merged for $11.7 billion in 2005 to create Macy’s Inc. They currently own 31.2% of the department store company.

Time Warner—owner of HBO, Turner, and Warner Bros.—will create 10 shows annually for Snapchat as part of a two-year deal reportedly worth $100 million. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the exclusive shows will include scripted dramas and comedies, and potentially franchises like Wonder Woman or Batman. Snap has already signed original content deals with NBC, ABC, and CBS including original series based on existing shows like The Bachelor and The Voice. The vertically-formatted series are between three and five minutes long per episode.

Lip-synching app partners with Hearst Magazines Digital Media (HMDM; premiering its Seventeen brand), NBCUniversal (E!’s Crush), and Viacom (MTV’s Nick Cannon’s Wild ‘N Out and Greatest Party Story Ever) to launch studio-quality, short-form shows. Programming will invite users to create their own reaction clips using specially designated hashtags and prompts. According to Variety, no money is being exchanged as part of these deals.

In an announcement made by Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Mobile will become the first iPhone-only mobile carrier this summer. The company will transition from its current Android-focused pre-paid business sold in retail stores to the new, no-contract, iPhone-only Inner Circle model. Customers who sign up within the first 30 days get 12 months of service for $1.


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