News


Ex-News Corp chief Miller invests in Wildseed

Former News Corp digital chief Jon Miller and Frederator Networks president Fred Seibert have invested in Miles Bullough’s OTT incubation company.

Jon MillerThis has enabled Wildseed Studios, which former Aardman Animation TV chief Bullough launched alongside ex-BBC Children’s executive Jesse Cleverly, to create a pair of new YouTube channels.

Wildseed Comedy and Wildseed Sci-Fi are now flush to beginning putting together a commissioning and production pipeline of premium original scripted content over the next year.

“This new round of investment and the continued backing of our existing investors has powerfully enabled us to move into this the next, audience-facing phase of our growth,” said Bullough.

Wildseed Comedy will launch a new scripted comedy series every month, with new episodes featuring top UK comedy talent going up each week. Five-parter Staff Room, which is set in a British secondary school, debuts this month.

It will feature newcomers Ryan McDermott and Adam Brown and stars from Coronation Street, Hollyoaks and Shameless.

“We have designed Wildseed Comedy to be the online destination for audiences looking for fresh new comedy and adult animation which we will supply by enabling comedy talent to develop their ideas and get them into production quickly and fearlessly without heavy handed editorial interference,” said Bullough.

Jesse Cleverly (L) & Miles Bullough (R)Wildseed Sci-Fi, meanwhile, will showcase ‘microbuster’ movies throughout 2015. These include Hungerford II: Ground Zero, Hubert’s Ghost and Killing Modern Day Witches.

“We know that audiences are looking for the fresh and exciting new comedy and genre films that the emerging generation of British talent are hungry to create,” said Cleverly.

“Thanks to this new round of investment, our innovative methodology, and the rapid evolution of digital production and distribution technology, we are in the wonderful position of being able to satisfy that demand with a great line up of new and exclusive series for Wildseed Comedy and a really vibrant slate of films for our Sci-Fi channel”.

Miller, the former AOL chairman and chief digital officer at News Corp (now 21st Century Fox), lead Wildseed’s third round of funding alongside animation legend Seibert, who controls expanding MCN Frederator Networks.

Welsh broadcaster S4C is already onboard, having invested in Wildseed a year ago.

“I was very impressed with Wildseed’s passion and focus around developing and enabling new talent,” said Miller. “There is a huge gap between talented YouTubers working on their own and giant media organisations which don’t have the bandwidth to develop new talent but who will perish without it. Wildseed’s ‘shoot first, ask permission later’ model is exactly what that talent is looking for.”

Cleverly and Bullough launched Wildseed in June last year.