ITV Invests in New Form Digital Studio


LOS ANGELES: The digital studio New Form has received $18 million in a series B round of funding, which saw ITV taking a minority stake in the company and initial investor Discovery Communications upping its investment.

The partnership between ITV and New Form includes a multiyear commercial agreement that will bring New Form properties to the ITV Hub starting in 2017. The investment follows ITV’s recently announced partnership with AwesomenessTV to license, co-produce and distribute new shows for ITV2 and the ITV Hub from early 2017, as well as its existing investments in the digital content companies Believe Entertainment, Zealot and Indigenous Media.

In 2014, Discovery Communications announced the funding and formation of New Form, positioned as a next-generation digital studio, with entertainment executives and operating partners Ed Wilson, Jim Wiatt and Craig Jacobson. Since then, New Form has produced 30 pilots and sold 20 of those to series. The New Form executive team is led by Kathleen Grace, the newly promoted CEO JC Cangilla, the COO; and Melissa Schneider, the executive VP of originals and development.

The $18 million funding round will allow the studio to further invest in its development and production model. New Form also plans to grow new business ventures with branded entertainment and international expansion, as well as invest in social programming.

“This investment marks a significant validation of New Form’s focus and creative output over the last two years,” said Grace. “Our vision for storytelling, our understanding of the audience and our unique production process, coupled with our track record with finding like-minded distributors, has made us the most prolific studio in the business and we are thrilled to have ITV and Discovery as partners for New Form’s next chapter.”

Simon Pitts, ITV’s managing director for online, pay TV and interactive, said, “New Form is at the forefront of a new generation of talented producer-broadcasters who are not only creating fantastic new shows, but can also build loyal audiences and brands online. New Form’s hit rate has been very impressive since launching only two years ago and they are a great fit for ITV Studios and our OTT service, the ITV Hub, as we continue to build our digital content capability. We’re excited to be working with Kathleen Grace, JC Cangilla, Melissa Schneider and the rest of the New Form team as the business moves into its next phase of growth.”

“When we announced our plans to launch New Form, we were excited about the opportunities to create meaningful programming and stories for today’s digital viewers,” said Karen Leever, the executive VP and general manager for digital media at Discovery Communications. “In less than three years, New Form has put itself on the map as one of the strongest new creative and distribution engines in the digital video space. We congratulate New Form on its success and are proud to continue our investment.”