Israeli startup Interlude, which has developed the Eko interactive storytelling platform, has received a strategic investment from Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE). SPE will also collaborate with Interlude on the development of entertainment content to be distributed on the Eko platform, which writer/director Will Gluck will be charged with creating and overseeing. No financial details were disclosed about the size of the investment but the US media described it as a "multi-million dollar investment."
With offices in New York and Tel Aviv, the company was founded in 2009 by CEO Yoni Bloch, CTO Tal Zubalsky and Barak Feldman. Interlude is a media and technology company that is pioneering a new kind of video that responds to a person’s emotions and interests. The company has raised $38.2 million to date including an $18.2 million financing round in December 2015 from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Warner Music Group, Samsung, Sequoia Capital and Intel Capital.
Interlude observes that new audiences have grown up with a much more active relationship with entertainment than in the past. They are used to shaping what they want to see and hear, rather than passively sitting and absorbing content. Until now, video storytelling has only been passive. The Eko platform changes this by enabling creators to easily script and craft stories that can be shaped by the viewer based on his or her explicit or implicit preference.
"With Eko, Yoni and the team at Interlude have developed an elegant, innovative storytelling platform. We look forward to working with them, and Will Gluck, to engage audiences with completely new entertainment experiences," said Michael Lynton, CEO, Sony Entertainment.
The Eko platform includes substantial breakthroughs in real time seamless video and audio, as well as user-response technologies. These all have been invented by Interlude's team to serve the creative needs of artists using this new medium. Moreover, with a new, active relationship between the story and consumers, Eko enables media companies and brands to benefit from unprecedented viewer engagement.
Bloch said, "We are very excited to launch this partnership with Sony Pictures. We look forward to introducing Eko experiences to many more viewers and to offering new business approaches to fuel the best creative and business returns for our partners."
"I'm thrilled to be working with Sony and Interlude to contribute to the evolving landscape of entertainment," said Will Gluck, whose Los Angeles-based Olive Bridge Entertainment will spearhead the endeavor. "We look forward to working with inventive writers and directors to create compelling storytelling that will match Interlude's innovative technology."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on June 17, 2016
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