Bucking the consolidation trend, Michael Eisner is spinning off Vuguru, the digital content studio he founded in 2006, into a standalone company. Backed by an undisclosed amount of funding from Canadian telecom giant Rogers Communications — the NYT dubs it a multimillion dollar stake — Eisner will stay on as chairman. No word yet on who will be CEO. The investment will help Vuguru increase the amount of content it produces, including some original series for Rogers.
Eisner launched Vuguru through his media investment company Tornante in 2006; he told the Times the studio is profitable. It generated buzz with the success of the series Prom Queen about a year ago, but hasn’t produced much new content since then. Eisner told the NYT he expects to develop roughly a dozen series next year; with plans to do about 30 annually.
The combination of funding and guaranteed distribution will definitely give Vuguru advantages that smaller indie studios don’t have, though that’s not guaranteed to translate into steady income. The investment is also a boon for Rogers — which dominates Canada’s wireless market, but also has cable TV and print media arms — as it will serve as a stream of fresh content for its VOD business.