Interactive video producer Interlude has announced that former top CBS and Microsoft executive Nancy Tellem has joined the company as executive chairman and chief media officer.
Tellem, who previously served as president of the CBS Network Television Group and later as corporate VP and president of Microsoft’s Xbox Entertainment Studios, says she’d been involved with Interlude as an investor since it was founded in 2010 and more recently she had worked with the company as an advisor.
Her new role is part of a larger strategy by the company to expand its ties to the Hollywood and TV creative community. The company has already had a number of notable successes online, including the official music video for Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone,” which racked up more than 70 million views.
“When I was at CBS I was really focused on the next iteration of TV and how technology could have a big impact on that,” she tells B&C. “My stint at Xbox not only tapped into that passion but it allowed me to learn more about interactivity and the power of technology and the gaming community.”
As TV players struggle to reach millennial audiences and younger demos, Tellem adds that “new ways of interactive story-telling and inserting gamming [features] into content provides a tremendous opportunity to engage audiences.”
Tellem says she hopes to apply that approach to a wide variety of genres. Interlude’s interactive productions have included six-minute videos that can be expanded to as much as 45 minutes depending on the choices the viewer makes as the story unfolds.
"We are reimagining video for a generation that wants to do more than just watch passively, which is why we are focused on amazing experiences that are both playful and thought provoking,” said Yoni Bloch, founder and CEO at Interlude in a statement accompanying the announcement. “Nancy shares our passion and has the vision to build off our current success. We are very fortunate to have someone of her stature to guide our company’s growth.”
In the past, the company has worked with such partners and clients as Warner Music Group, Disney, Nickelodeon, Pepsi, Lincoln Motor Company, Shell and L'Oreal.
With CPMs for higher quality online video remaining very high, advertising will be an important revenue source. Using interactive currencies from the gaming world will be another important business model.
The company is financially backed by Sequoia Capital, Intel Capital, NEA, Marker and Innovation Endeavors.