Category Archives: Entertainment

The tactics behind The Athletic’s breakout success in sports subscriptions

Local newspapers may be shuttering and people may be consuming most news on social media, but don’t tell Alex Mather that a subscription news publication can’t grow like a unicorn startup. His 2-year-old sports publisher The Athletic has gained over 100,000 paid subscribers (60 percent under age 34) and has a 90 percent retention rate. Having already raised $30 million in its short life, the company announced a new $40 million Series C yesterday, led by Founders Fund and Bedrock Capital. It reportedly values The Athletic around $200 […]

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With TodayTix Presents, TodayTix is starting to produce its own live shows

Mobile ticketing app TodayTix is getting into the show production business with the launch of a new program called TodayTix Presents. While TodayTix is sometimes described as the mobile version of the TKTS booth where you can pick up last-minute tickets to Broadway shows, CEO Brian Fenty said that he sees the service’s real competitors as “anything you can do with your night, outside of work — that’s Netflix and ‘Orange is the New Black,’ that’s post-season baseball, that’s a pitcher of margarita.” At the same time, […]

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Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman announce the name of their stealthy mobile video startup

Onstage at Vanity Fair’s New Establishment Summit in Los Angeles, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman unveiled the name of their highly anticipated mobile video company known until now as NewTV. The name is Quibi, short for “quick bites,” per a note on its new website: “Something cool is coming from Hollywood and Silicon Valley — quick bites of captivating entertainment, created for mobile by the best talent, designed to fit perfectly into any moment of your day.” The short-form video service, launching next year, will operate on […]

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Making A Murderer returns on October 19

Making A Murderer is coming back to Netflix on October 19. In 2015, Netflix released the 10-episode docuseries Making A Murderer, created by Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos. The picture looked at the mystery surrounding the murder of Teresa Halbach. Steven Avery, a Manitowoc County man charged with the murder in 2007, was wrongfully convicted of sexual assault at the age of 22, and was exonerated by DNA evidence after serving 18 years in prison. Making A Murderer examined the original allegations, the events surrounding the murder […]

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SoftBank leads $35M investment in sports engagement startup Heed

Heed, a startup looking to create new ways for sports leagues and clubs to engage with fans, is announcing that it has raised $35 million led by SoftBank Group International. As laid out for me by CEO Danna Rabin, the company sits at the intersection of sports and IoT — which makes sense, since it was founded by Internet of Things company AGT International and talent agency Endeavor . “Our primary mission is to connect the young audience with sports leagues and clubs,” Rabin said. “[Those] audiences are […]

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Ne-Yo wants to make Silicon Valley more diverse, one investment at a time

Dressed in a Naruto t-shirt and a hat emblazoned with the phrase “lone wolf,” Ne-Yo slouches over in a chair inside a Holberton School classroom. The Grammy-winning recording artist is struggling to remember the name of “that actor,” the one who’s had a successful career in both the entertainment industry and tech investing. “I learned about all the things he was doing and I thought it was great for him,” Ne-Yo told TechCrunch. “But I didn’t really know what my place in tech would be.” It turns out “that […]

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Managing the music business from a mobile phone, Jammber is making the industry sing

The music business is littered with stories about songwriters or studio contributors and session musicians who never get the credit — or money — they’re often due for their work on hit songs. And for every storied session musician in “The Wrecking Crew” there are perhaps hundreds of other contributors who aren’t getting their just desserts. That’s where Jammber comes in. The five-year-old company co-founded by serial entrepreneur Marcus Cobb has developed a suite of tools to manage everything from songwriting credits and rights management to ticketing […]

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Kin expands its celebrity-driven ‘neighborhood’ model for online video

Digital media company Kin has announced a slate of new video series from singer/actress Jordin Sparks, Bachelorette JoJo Fletcher and Jordan Rodgers (who successfully proposed to Fletcher over on the series). The company also revealed more details about its programming with Vanessa Lachey (who had already signed on with her husband Nick). She’ll be hosting a competition series called Beauty School Knockout, where contestants compete to create specific looks using unconventional products. This is all part of what the company calls its “neighborhood” strategy, where it launches a […]

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MoviePass borrowed $5M to end yesterday’s outage

More bad news for subscription movie ticket service MoviePass, which acknowledged yesterday that there was an unidentified issue preventing people from using their MoviePass credit cards to get tickets. A regulatory filing from parent company Helios & Matheson offers more insight about what happened. The filing (first spotted by Business Insider) announces a “demand note” of $6.2 million, including $5 million in cash that the company borrowed. It goes on to explain: The $5.0 million cash proceeds received from the Demand Note will be used by the […]

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Mike Judge to join us at Disrupt SF 2018

Silicon Valley, for better and oftentimes worse, provides an uncanny valley view of the ups and downs of IRL Silicon Valley. The HBO series has shown what it’s like to deal with an incumbent who steals an idea or IP, the humiliation of saving the day, only to be fired as CEO by your VC, or the fear and exhilaration of competing on the Startup Battlefield stage — a familiar spot for those who have been to Disrupt. TechCrunch is helping create another Silicon Valley meta moment. […]

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