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The team behind YouTube channel WIGS is expanding into longer-format content with the launch of Indigenous Media, a production company focused on half-hour and hourlong digital content.
Indigenous is founded by producer Jon Avnet (Black Swan), his son Jake Avnet and director Rodrigo Garcia (In Treatment), and has received funding from communications conglomerate WPP and U.K. TV giant ITV. Additional investors include Steven Tisch, Shari Redstone‘s Advancit Capital and Michael Price. Jon Miller, former CEO of digital media for News Corp, has been appointed Indigenous chairman.
The trio started WIGS in 2012 to produce shortform content for YouTube. Best known for Julia Stiles‘ vehicle Blue, WIGS signed a multiyear marketing and distribution deal with Fox in 2013 and began to expand beyond YouTube. The third season of Blue was released exclusively on Hulu last spring. WIGS will continue to operate in partnership with Fox and Indigenous will contribute financing for future projects.
Meanwhile, with Indigenous, the partners will continue to expand their digital content footprint, developing full-length series with an eye for online and traditional distribution. WPP and ITV will contribute advertising and distribution, respectively.
Said Paul Buccieri, chairman of ITV Studios US Group and ITV Studios Global Entertainment: “Indigenous is a forward looking, multi-platform provider of premium content, and as such, is a perfect strategic fit for ITV.” ITV also just invested in multiplatform producer Believe Entertainment Group.
Creative Artists Agency advised Indigenous in the transaction.
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