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24

Sep

DEV Adds Veteran Entrepreneurs and Investors as Advisors; Welcomes Val Katayev and John Ason

New York, September 24, 2012 – DEV (Digital Entertainment Ventures) announces the addition of Val Katayev and John Ason as Advisors to its early stage media and entertainment fund. In this role, they will participate in assessing prospective portfolio company opportunities and building DEV’s overall business.

“Val and John will add investment savvy and hands-on operational experience to the DEV team,” said DEV Managing Director Alan McGlade. “Their extensive network of contacts will further establish DEV as a growing force in New York’s blossoming digital media and entertainment industry.”

Val Katayev is a digital pioneer and entrepreneur, who has created and led three successful start-up companies to hyper-growth. At just 30 years old, Katayev currently oversees a portfolio that reaches over 300 million consumers, centered around entertainment and music. His fourth and most recent company is ToneMedia, which focuses specifically on the evolving music content space and meaningful consumer engagements, and for which he is the creator of patent pending ToneTargeting. Reaching over 120 million visitors globally, and 55 million in the United States, ToneMedia is the leader in audience targeting and premium media distribution among music enthusiasts around the world.

John Ason has been an angel investor in the New York area for the past 15 years. He has made over 40 professional investments in an eclectic range of industries. For many of these, he has been the lead investor.  Prior to investing, Ason worked for over 25 years at AT&T, both in engineering and international business. He has travelled extensively to the Far East and worked on “bleeding edge” technology- something he found to be useful when he transitioned into angel investing.

About DEV (Digital Entertainment Ventures)

DEV provides guidance, seed and early stage capital to companies building the next generation of digital services that are transforming media and entertainment. DEV is managed by seasoned media and venture executives Alan McGlade and Michael Yang, and its initial investments include Open Air Publishing, Stageit, Mad Humans and Sonic Notify.  It is headquartered in New York City.  Visit DEV on the web at www.devny.vc. 

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(Source: businesswire.ca)

25

Aug

Running with the Herd

What are the chances that two movie studios would make films about obscure Scottish highlands freedom fighters and release them within about a month of each other? Excellent actually which is why in the nineties we got to see Braveheart and Rob Roy at the same time. Simultaneous release of movies with a similar premise is a long established pattern; think Friends with Benefits and No Strings Attached. The larger themes come in waves such as the box office franchises of Harry Potter, Narnia and Lord of the Rings.

I have heard various arguments as to why this phenomenon occurs. A production team may spend a year or more shopping a movie idea until every studio has heard the pitch. Finally someone picks it up and one or more of those that passed quickly push a “look alike” into production. Either they don’t want to be left behind or there is comfort in going along with something someone else said yes to. Or there is a sense that there is an overriding trend at play – fantasy stories with Wizards – that they have to be a part of.

I have seen the same principle in the digital media business. About five years ago there was a digital music start-up called Spiral Frog. The company claimed to have cracked the code for music piracy by giving downloads to consumers for free by getting advertisers to pay for them. Reporters jumped on the story en masse and some anointed Spiral Frog as the future of digital music. Several reporters asked me how any other music company could hope to succeed once Spiral Frog was in the market. Many digital music startups, not wanting to miss a golden opportunity, quickly joined the ads-for-downloads bandwagon.

This tendency for ideas to move in unison, like a herd of stampeding Wildebeests, has particular resonance to me as an investor and advisor for early stage online companies. Business concepts come into fashion and before you know it there are hundreds of ventures in formation offering often subtle variations on a common theme. 

Last year it was the Grouponistas. They pointed out that restaurants alone generate over $600 billion in annual sales. They went on to talk about the importance of gathering data on customers, communicating with them and gaining their loyalty. Most took a subtle, and sometimes not so subtle, dig at Groupon as “one size fits all” that often worked against the best interest of merchants and tried to demonstrate how they could do customer promotions better.

If the stock market is a reliable indicator, then Groupon is yesterday’s news. The herd has moved on. The Facebook IPO (though it may look dismal now), the purchase of Instagram for $1 billion, and the staggering growth of Pinterest have refocused entrepreneurs on social networking and content sharing. Their startups are working on new ways to creatively publish content and distribute it to like-minded individuals or developing the “interest graph”. Where traditional social networks are based on actual relationships, these networks attempt to connect people who share similar interests.

There is nothing wrong with improving the tools that retailers use to attract and retain customers or finding novel ways to connect people with common interests. Certainly important companies will continue to emerge in these areas. But the odds of success start to stack up against entrepreneurs and their investors when they find themselves in the middle of a large pack of similar start-ups.  Often it is the company that is outside the feeding frenzy that extracts the most value for all involved.

(Previously published on Media in DEV on Forbes.com.)

20

Aug

Entertainment for Extraterrestrials

Music companies have standard license agreements that assert rights over their content in perpetuity in the known universe and in all unknown universes yet to be discovered. This is bad news for extra-terrestrials who love earth music and listen to it on distant planets without licensing it first from earthbound labels and publishers. Alien copyright violation is the premise of Rob Reid’s satirical new book, Year Zero.   As the founder of Listen.com, a company that was sold to Real Networks and became the Rhapsody music service, he knows what he is talking about. Rob may be writing fiction but his story is firmly rooted in the very real, byzantine world of copyright law and the lawyers who exploit it.

It certainly rings true for me. As the former CEO of MediaNet, the first company to license digital music for mass distribution, I navigated a constant barrage of lawsuits by labels, publishers and legal trolls who tried to spin gold out of murky copyright laws applied to the nascent digital music industry. The lawyers ended up being the driving force in the transformation of the music industry, a trend I wrote about last year.

According to Paul Resnikoff, the publisher of Digital Music News, the case on music licensing is closed . Entrepreneurs who want to develop music related concepts must do so by working around the labels and publishers, often without their involvement. And there is investment money flowing to such enterprises. Recently the EchoNest, a company that enables music recommendations, snagged $17.5 million in funding and TuneIn, an online radio aggregator, raised $16 million.

I have been tracking music related companies closely with an eye towards those that have a sound business model that works independently of direct licensing with rights holders. Earlier this year my firm invested in a company called Stageit. Evan Lowenstein, a former pop star himself and Stageit’s CEO, has introduced a monetization model that is elegant in its simplicity. He attracts artists to use the Stageit platform for live online performances. The artists reach out to their fan base and sell tickets for an exclusive show, often to a few hundred people. During the performance the audience can interact with and tip the artist if they are so inclined. Money changes hands directly between the artist and their fans, with no middlemen.

Recently a casual game called SongPop  which challenges users to “name that tune” has rocketed to over 2 million daily active users. Last month Mathieu Nouzareth, Song Pop’s founder, explained to me the game’s appeal. According to Mathieu, people have an emotional response to music and the game successfully connects people around their musical interests. And while music is the driver, the game is monetized through upgrades to a premium version of the game and advertising. Interestingly, SongPop is driving a tremendous level of traffic to iTunes to buy the songs they heard in the game and the company is collecting an affiliate fee.

There is a lesson in this for aliens from distant galaxies that like American bands. Forget about licensing music for your universe and figure out a way to sign up for a Stageit show.

- Alan McGlade

(Previously published on Media in Dev at Forbes.com)

16

Jul

DEV Closes Investment in Sonic Notify

Groundbreaking new platform delivers content to smart devices using sound waves

NEW YORK, July 16, 2012 – DEV (Digital Entertainment Ventures), an early stage capital firm focused on the next generation of NYC-based digital media and entertainment companies, today announced an investment in Sonic Notify, a pioneering new platform that automatically delivers content to smart devices using imperceptible sound waves.  DEV is joined in the Series A financing round by Raptor Ventures, A-Grade Investments, Advancit Capital, AngelVision Investors, Eniac Investors and The Gorfaine/Schwartz Agency.  Raptor Ventures led the round, which totals $4.25 million.

The Sonic Notify platform enables live event producers and performers, retailers, and television broadcasters to deliver exclusive media content to smart devices at concerts, sports events, in stores, as second screen experiences, and more.  The technology can be integrated into third party apps, and content delivery is triggered by an audio code transmitted through any speaker.  Consumers can receive content passively without interrupting their viewing or shopping experience.  For example, Interscope recording artists Mindless Behavior used Sonic Notify at a recent New York City concert to trigger audience notifications within their app for exclusive content and special merchandise offers.

“Whether they’re watching TV or experiencing a live event, consumers are increasingly using mobile devices to complement their entertainment experiences,” said Alan McGlade, DEV Managing Director.  “Sonic Notify co-founders Jonathan Glanz and Alex Bell have developed a truly innovative technology that triggers consumer interactivity without requiring them to take a specific action such as clicking on an app when a logo is displayed in a commercial. Sonic Notify is exactly the kind of transformational company in media and entertainment that DEV is seeking to work with.”

About DEV (Digital Entertainment Ventures)

DEV provides guidance, seed and early stage capital to companies building the next generation of digital services that are transforming media and entertainment. DEV is managed by seasoned media and venture executives Alan McGlade and Michael Yang, and its initial investments include Open Air Publishing, Stageit, Mad Humans and others to be announced soon.  It is headquartered in New York City.  Visit DEV on the web at www.devny.vc. 

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12

Jul

Why The Tea Party Should Hate ESPN

(Originally published on Forbes.com)

If the Tea Party took a closer look, they’d start calling out sports fans as closet socialists. Sports fans may project an all-American image of baseball and apple pie, but they are bilking most of the population out of billions of dollars every year. Their ruling party is ESPN. It is a finely tuned machine that efficiently redistributes wealth from the many to benefit the few. In an election year where the Tea Party holds sway over a number of economic issues, fighting the tax levied through cable bundling by ESPN and its followers should be front and center. Let me explain.

Cable television started out over a half century ago as a way to get better reception for broadcast channels. Beginning in the 80s, a host of basic cable networks – MTV, CNN, USA, ESPN - sprung up that changed the face of the business. These networks benefited from a dual revenue stream - traditional television advertising and carriage fees that were assessed on a per subscriber basis.

Cable operators combined these channels into bundles to try to achieve the highest average revenue per subscriber possible. They were largely successful. Annual cable subscription fees increased from a couple hundred dollars to nearly $1,000 per household for digital cable today. However, this cost has been driven in large part by escalating carriage fees. Programmers are generally insulated from criticism for this increase because the consumer sends their check each month to the cable company.

It is fair to point out that cable service improved dramatically over that period, expanding from dozens to hundreds of channels, most of which are now in HD. Networks such as History and Food have committed viewers that value their programming. But one group benefited at the expense of most others – the sports fan. ESPN wrote the playbook and if the revolutionary war era Sons of Liberty were still around they would be tossing TVs into Boston Harbor.

For starters, as one of the first name brand cable networks, ESPN locked up universal carriage early on. Further, sports fans who want to see a game scream bloody murder if their access is limited. Sports networks know this and have successfully used it. From the beginning ESPN insisted that it be placed on the most basic commercial tier. So other than a government mandated service that only has a few broadcast channels and the local city council hearings, all cable packages include ESPN. That puts ESPN in 100 million homes in the U.S.

While sports entertainment is enormously influential in our culture, the little secret inside the business is that only a small minority of the population are hardcore sports fans. In the week ending June 10, 2012 which included the NBA playoffs, the average prime time ESPN viewership was 4.7 million. That’s a good number for a cable network but less than 5% of cable households. This sets up a great disconnect when you consider that ESPN is almost 20 times as expensive as the average cable network. ESPN may have ever-increasing sports rights costs, but they also have leverage with cable operators that lets them name their price.

Let’s do the math. The average cable network charges a carriage fee to the cable operator of $0.26 per subscriber per month. This cost is passed on to all of us as part of our monthly subscription fee.  ESPN, on the other hand, charges north of $5 per subscriber per month just for its flagship channel. There is an incremental cost for ESPN’s sister channels. Even if we more than double the prime time viewership from early June  and assume that 10 million homes are regular ESPN viewers, there are 90 million that are paying for but rarely or never use the service. That equates to a mandatory annual subsidy of $5.4 billion per year most of us must pay on behalf of ESPN viewers.

We have entered into an on-demand world where consumers are insisting they get just what they want, when they want it; no more and no less. A younger generation of consumers is leading the charge and they, in particular, have a low tolerance for entertainment packaging. Just ask the record companies about the future prospects for albums if you need verification. The Tea Party may not be paying attention but consumers are. The days are numbered for the practice of bundling channels to force subscribers to pay for something they don’t want while subsidizing a minority of viewers that love very expensive programming.

- Alan McGlade is the Managing Director of DEV (Digital Entertainment Ventures). DEV is investing in companies that are fueling the transformation of the television business. He was formerly the CEO of a cable network and an MSO executive.

19

Jun

Game Developers Need More Than “Cool” Factor

Infinity Blade for iPhone

Every day I take the train into New York, I see more and more people with their heads bent over some handheld device, playing games. This is not just an anecdotal phenomenon: global video game sales were $52 billion in 2011, and DFC Intelligence projects that number is expected to increase to over $70 billion in 2017. Compare this to music, which only generated $16.6 billion worldwide in 2011, and it will give you an idea of where consumers increasingly are investing their entertainment dollars.

And as my fellow commuters can attest, what makes this trend even more interesting is the rapid growth of online gaming, including mobile games for phones and tablets. This means a glut of gaming products have hit the market, and you need more than a good idea to be successful. When DEV evaluates companies for our portfolio, there are the things we always look for, such as a solid team with a great track record and an innovative concept that can scale as a business. For gaming, we are focused on several issues that we think increase the likelihood of success: marketing strategy, unique design for the platform, immersive experience, and a vision for a larger business beyond the first releases.

Getting Noticed

Every month, General Assembly in New York hosts a Gaming Meet-Up that features some of the best independent developers in the city. Typically there are one or two demos each night that blow everyone’s minds. These are invariably casual games that were developed for iOS by a small team and are on their way to an Apple App Store launch. So far, so good, but then comes the hard part: how to let people know that a great game has arrived.

This is not a minor issue. Each year, the App Store ingests hundreds of thousands of new entries. Only a handful are highlighted in the store, and even fewer go on to reach a mass audience. In fact, most never see the light of day, which is why over 250,000 app store titles are currently dormant, meaning they have had virtually no activity for an extended period of time. So assuming the game is great to start with, “getting noticed” is the single most important barrier that initially separates failure from success.

There are a variety of marketing strategies to tip the scales in your favor, and we look at these closely when evaluating game concepts. For example, you can attach your game to a known brand. This could be a physical product, a movie, or a celebrity. However, this approach must be managed carefully so the game doesn’t just become an incidental component of a much larger brand marketing campaign. If your game is topical, you can tap a hot news event or trend that is getting broad coverage in the media. Whatever the approach, the game concept must be tightly coupled with the method of marketing it.

Designing for the Medium

Console games use a variety of controllers such as handheld devices, mock guitars, steering wheels, or motion sensors and are usually displayed on a big screen with a sound system. The player is in a particular location, usually seated at a distance from the screen. The menus, navigation, and graphic detail are all optimized to support the gameplay setting. Console game developers have consciously designed their games from the ground up to be consumed in a particular manner.

Tablets are emerging as the new medium of choice for gaming. It is projected that tablets will outsell laptops by 2015, and gaming is already established as the most popular tablet activity. The latest tablets have all the right ingredients for gaming: very high resolution displays, significant storage, and computing power that rivals a game console. We can expect to see continued rapid advancements in tablet technology as consumer investment in the medium grows.

Just as console game developers meticulously built products for the console setting, the next generation of tablet game developers must design for their medium. They have an enviable toolset to work with that includes a portable form factor, GPS, touchscreen navigation, a camera, a microphone and connectivity through Wi-Fi and wireless. The innovative game designs will take full advantage of these features.

Immersing Your Audience

Players of games like Bioshock Infinite or Far Cry 3 are used to mind-numbing graphics and a gameplay experience that draws them so deeply into another world that they become oblivious to their real-life surroundings. The best games have complex storylines with a variety of missions that engage players and hold their interest for hours. It is the anticipation of this experience that prompted gamers to line up and spend $400 million on Call of Duty in the first 24 hours of its release.

On the other hand, casual games currently dominate tablets and phones. They are well-suited to filling free moments using a portable device when you are on the go. It is no accident that titles such as Angry Birds and Words with Friends have become so popular, and they will continue to fill an important niche.  But as the universe of tablets expands, the bigger opportunity may be in highly produced games that are deeply immersive and capitalize on the unique features of a mobile device.

For the most part, casual games have moved to the freemium model. A baseline game is offered for free to encourage downloading of the app. The player can then add premium features for a small fee. However, little has been done so far to build a business around console-style games for the tablet. There are a few initial entries such as Infinity Blade, but the real explosion in triple-A games is just ahead of us. This will change the economics of tablet gaming. Players may not be willing to pay the $60 they shell out for console games, but $10 should be a reasonable price point for eight hours of immersive tablet gameplay.

Building a Business

Everyone has a game-changing app that, with a little investment, will bring riches. Well, maybe not everyone, but you get my point. A business can have an app but rarely is a single app a business. Ask Rovio how many games fell flat before they scored a hit with Angry Birds. They were formed as a mobile game studio in 2003, but the Angry Birds phenomenon didn’t occur until 2010, so the answer is, “a lot!” Now, Rovio is a multi-dimensional media company that includes broadcast media, merchandising, and publishing.

The successful players in gaming will have a broader strategy than developing an individual app or game. They will have a comprehensive business concept that targets a specific audience, type of game, production method, revenue model, and marketing approach. They will build a company that over time carves out an identifiable niche and supports both the hits and misses.

It is also worth noting that being in the game business doesn’t just mean forming a game studio and developing a roster of game titles. There is a wide assortment of businesses that are key components of the gaming ecosystem from development  and promotional tools to ecommerce and advertising  platforms. In the gold rush years of Red Dead Redemption, it was the purveyors of mining tools that consistently made all the money.

A great game experience is just the start. When companies are ready for outside capital, they will need to prove they have more than the “cool” factor. Marketing strategy, design sensibility for both the platform and the user experience, and a vision for growth are all things DEV sees as critical elements for success. How are you going to grab the attention of those MTA commuters or the kids at Game Stop the first time, and then maintain that engagement through the next release, and the next, and the next, and the next?

- Alan McGlade

15

Jun

Defensive Innovation in the TV Business

Nick Bilton recently wrote a piece in the NY Times about the HBO hit series, Game of Thrones. In summary, his friends advised him to watch the series and since he had “cut the cord” with his cable provider two years ago, he downloaded the first season from iTunes. He was quickly hooked and discovered, to his dismay, that the second season was only available on HBO GO and only if you are a cable subscriber. Apparently many people had a similar experience which prompted one enterprising web designer to build a website called, “Take My Money HBO”.

This story perfectly encapsulates what we at DEV have been saying for the last year about the state of the TV industry. Sure there is innovation within the cable and broadcast industry but much of it is centered on defending the existing business model. There is no better example of this than “authentication” which is the pay television industry’s way of trying to exclude content from non-subscribers. Here is a quick history.

Cable networks have traditionally worked through MSO’s (Multi System Operators) and satellite providers who aggregate their channels and distribute them to consumers. As high speed broadband penetration increased (also mostly provided by cable operators), cable networks such as the History Channel began offering consumers the ability to stream replays of their shows directly from their websites. This was great for the consumer because it meant they could watch their favorite shows at their convenience if they missed the original television airing. It was good for the network because it allowed them to touch the consumer directly, promote their shows and their network brand, and deliver incremental advertising impressions.

It was not so good for the MSO. It leapfrogged their role as intermediary between programmer and consumer. The cable operators have enormous leverage since they pay billions of dollars in programming fees to the networks every year and they decided to use it. They mandated in their contracts that programmers could only make a minimal amount of their shows available through on-demand streaming in a non-HD format for promotional purposes. To access and stream a comprehensive selection, the consumer would have to “authenticate” that they were a subscriber to the local cable system. As a consequence, the comprehensive selection of shows previously available to the general public on network websites quickly disappeared. It also created the odd situation where thousands of people like Nick Bilton want to give HBO money to watch Game of Thrones, but can’t.

HBO GO, like most of the original programming on its network, is an elegant well-executed product. It takes advantage of new technology to make viewing HBO shows more convenient. But fundamentally it is a defensive innovation. It is designed to reinforce and protect an old business model that relies on an intermediary to aggregate and sell large bundles of channels to television households. It is hard to see how this is sustainable in the long term but with so much revenue at stake, the logic of defensive innovation is undeniable.

That is why we have to look to the new ventures that are forming outside of traditional media companies to drive true innovation in television. They have nothing to protect and therefore, nothing to lose. They can build truly new business models, programming concepts and distribution methods without keeping an eye on the rearview mirror. DEV was specifically formed to nurture this kind of innovation in New York, which we believe will be the epicenter of transformation in the television industry.

In a future post - Sports Socialists: Why the Tea Party Should Hate ESPN - I will talk more about a key element of this transformation.

-   Alan McGlade is the Managing Director of DEV. He was formerly the CEO of a cable network and an MSO executive.

05

Jun

Blog Talk Radio: Tomorrow Will Be Televised

Alan McGlade spoke to Simon Applebaum at Blog Talk Radio about why innovations in television will come from outside the major media companies; the generational shift to watching TV on laptops, tablets and mobile phones; and why the television industry will be the next to be disrupted. Click the link above to go to the podcast.

29

May

Never Underestimate New Yorkers - NYC Will Adapt and Spawn Successful Global Companies

New Start Up display, the history of the computer in New Mexico, at Albuquerque's Museum of Natural History

Yesterday the New York Times published a story about how New York City is becoming increasingly attractive to entrepreneurs as a place to launch new tech businesses.  It’s great to see the city’s paper of record covering the dramatic increase in startup activity here and how the singular characteristics of the city drive its energy.  But the story only touched on what we see as a major factor affecting the longevity of the NYC startup ecosystem – establishing the kind of capital and support infrastructure that sustains this kind of activity for the long haul.

John O’Farrell, partner at Andreesen Horowitz, a Bay Area VC firm, was quoted prominently in the story about his belief that no other city builds true global franchises like Silicon Valley.  The story reports that the firm sets the bar higher for its New York investments, “because it believes they are less likely to succeed.” 

Silicon Valley’s record speaks for itself.  Yet there is no doubt that New York is well-positioned to birth highly successful global companies, and in the media industry, we are at the beginning of what is a truly transformational phase.  The next disruptive media businesses are only in the early stages of conception, and they will need access to New York’s traditional media industry and its experts to thrive.  That means that headquartering in NYC is huge advantage for them.  What these young companies need is not a higher bar, but a robust support system.

It’s true that San Francisco already has this support system in place, which prompts many young companies to take a cross-country jaunt to the west coast to find financing for their ideas.  Ideally, these entrepreneurs should be forming relationships with local VCs early on.  But much of the NYC investment community has an “old school” culture and approach. Imagine a room of entrepreneurs in black t-shirts and Converse with financial players decked out in suits and gold cufflinks and you’ll get the picture.  New York investors are still less comfortable with entrepreneurs than the Silicon Valley VC community, and often tend to focus on projections and deal structure, rather than on the vision itself. 

That is changing.  New York investors and its startup community will benefit as investors take a page from Silicon Valley and better adapt their style – not in fashion but in mindset - to the creative intellects that are developing the next great business models. 

-Alan McGlade

24

May

The Deal: DEV's Alan McGlade on NYC's digital media scene

Alan spoke to The Deal “Pipeline” recently about NYC’s flourishing digital media scene and DEV’s investment in Stageit.  Check out the video.

14

May

DEV Advisors Opens Doors; Welcomes Dick Wingate as Principal

Clients include iJukebox, Talking Media Group, and More

 

 NEW YORK, May 14, 2012 – DEV (Digital Entertainment Ventures) announces the formation of DEV Advisors, an affiliate which will offer consulting and advisory services to digital media companies.  Seasoned digital entertainment executive Dick Wingate joins the firm as Principal. 

DEV Advisors clients already include iJukebox, an interactive music streaming service that lets users choose the music at businesses everywhere; Talking Media Group, a database for buyers and sellers of digital media, publishing and entertainment; Elements, a resource for Brazilians who travel and live part time in South Florida; Alluring Logic, a cloud-based solution that helps retailers develop strong client relationships; and imbookin, an online distribution channel for venues to effectively list and market their availability.

“A recent study confirmed that the tech industry is growing faster in New York City than anywhere else in the country,” said DEV Managing Director Alan McGlade.  “DEV Advisors fills a need for digital media companies that need access to professionals with high level experience in digital business strategy, content acquisition and licensing, and market and product development.  We have a terrific network of Advisors, and I can’t think of anyone better qualified to play a Principal role than Dick Wingate.” 

Wingate’s career spans more than three decades in music and interactive media.  He recently served as General Manager, East Coast Business Development for TAG Strategic, a digital entertainment consultancy, providing business development, content licensing, strategic partner and distribution strategy.  Prior to TAG, Wingate was President, Media Development & Chief Content Officer for Nellymoser Inc., one of the earliest providers of rich media mobile applications.  Wingate helped pioneer the digital music business during his years as SVP, Content Development, at Liquid Audio, Inc., which created the first end-to-end secure digital music platform.  He has also held senior positions at several major record labels including Arista, Polygram, Epic and Columbia.

The DEV Advisors team also includes Stephen Bradley, Managing Partner of Farmingville Capital; Val Katayev, Founder and CEO of ToneMedia, a music marketing platform; Henry Leong, Managing Director of Vietbridge LLC, a boutique firm that specializes in raising capital and sourcing joint ventures in the Asia-Pacific region; and Sandbox Strategies, a boutique firm focused on media strategy for videogames and tech.


About DEV Advisors

DEV Advisors is a consulting firm and affiliate of New York-based DEV (Digital Entertainment Ventures). The firm is comprised of accomplished media executives with deep experience in building, distributing and generating revenue streams for emerging digital media businesses.  DEV Advisors acts as a bridge between the technology and entertainment industries — providing digital business strategy, content acquisition and licensing, access to key relationships, market and product development, and more.

About DEV (Digital Entertainment Ventures)

DEV provides guidance, seed and early stage capital to companies building the next generation of digital services that are transforming media and entertainment. DEV is managed by seasoned media and venture executives Alan McGlade and Michael Yang, and its initial investments include Stageit, Mad Humans and others to be announced soon.  It is headquartered in New York City.  Visit DEV on the web at www.devny.vc. 

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(Source: businesswire.com)

07

May

Portfolio.com: VC Turns on Money Spigot for NYC Media

Portfolio.com interviews Alan McGlade: “It’s crystal clear now if it wasn’t a few years ago that media and entertainment is undergoing a massive change… We’re looking for companies that have done something transformational.”  Click on the headline above to read the whole story. 

03

May

Funding Post New York VC and Angel Event on May 10

Alan McGlade will be speaking at this event which is open to entrepreneurs and investors.  The panel will focus on trends in early-stage investing, hot sectors, the best and worst things an entrepreneur can do to get investor attention, and more.  Click on the link above for more info.

TechCrunch: DEV, NYC’s New Seed Fund For Digital Media Startups, Announces First Investments

TechCrunch did a great write-up of our launch yesterday.  Click on the headline above to read the whole story. 

Here comes money for media startups: former MediaNet CEO Alan McGlade and VC Michael Yang are announcing the launch of a new NYC-based firm called DEV (Digital Entertainment Ventures) whose early stage capital fund which will invest in next-gen digital media companies. To kick off its launch, DEV is today revealing its first two investments, a live music platform called StageIt and mobile gaming company Mad Humans

(Source: TechCrunch)