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MGM Studios Invests in Interlude

Interlude, a New York-based startup that develops interactive TV shows with a personal twist, said it has locked in a “strategic investment” from Metro-Goldwyn Mayer Studios.

The amount of MGM’s investment was not disclosed, but it was part of an $18.2 million round in Interlude by Warner Music Group, Samsung and returning investors that include Sequoia Capital and Intel Capital. Tied to the investment, MGM chairman and CEO Gary Barber has signed on a “board observer” at Interlude.

Interlude said it will use the funding to broaden content development in areas such as drama, comedy, pop culture, news and music.

Interlude adds interactive elements to the mix by letting users engage directly with programs, by answering polls and questions, selecting camera angles and making decision on the direction of the story being told. Speaking at the Next TV Summit in New York, Interlude president and COO Jim Spare said viewers spend an average of seven minutes clicking on different outcomes.

“We’re finding that young audiences love the idea of being able to talk to a video and interact with a video,” he said then. “It’s truly personal and it’s driving retention and engagement rates.”

“Though video has always been a very powerful storytelling medium, it has not, to date, been able to adjust and adapt from viewer to viewer,” Yoni Bloch, founder and CEO of Interlude, said in a statement about today’s funding announcement. “But we are aiming to allow filmmakers and content to form a unique connection with each viewer.  This has the potential to change the relationship between film and individual audience members.”

“MGM continues to expand its footprint by identifying innovative platforms and technologies, such as Interlude, to introduce new audiences to our creative content,” added Barber. 

MTV and BBC are among examples of programmers that have developed Interlude-powered content.