The 11th Hour Dispatch – Friday, April 20, 2018

| April 20, 2018

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BINGE WATCH

Vice’s Motherboard has signed a 24-month distribution deal for a feature-length documentary with Netflix as part of its multimodal distribution plan. The 85-minute film The Most Unknown follows nine scientists across the globe that are researching ways to “answer really deep questions” such as human consciousness and the beginnings of life. The documentary will also have a theater run in 20 U.S. cities this summer, with its theater debut at NYC’s Quad Cinema on May 18. Vice and Motherboard will also release nine 10- to 15-minute episodes (one for each of the nine scientists featured) on Motherboard’s YouTube channel and social. These social cuts will not feature advertisements, partly because they were funded by the math and science nonprofit Science Sandbox, an initiative of the Simons Foundation, to distribute a message of “scientific discovery and wonder to inspire young people.”

YOUNG MONEY

Nintendo has joined forces with Scrum Ventures out of San Francisco to figure out new creative ways to use its Switch console through a new program. The program will seek startups, sections of large companies, or university researchers to develop additions, such as sensors, chips, or attachment add-ons, to the Switch to better user experience on the platform. Nintendo and Scrum will not invest directly in the groups selected for the program, but they will provide assistance with getting new products to market. Normally, Nintendo works with established hardware manufacturers to further build out its products, so it’s interesting to see it go down a more innovative road that could launch the careers of new developers in an insanely massive way. 

BIG BUSINESS

Former Time Inc. exec Jen Wong has been hired as Reddit’s COO. Wong was previously the COO of Time until it was acquired by Meredith Corp. in January. At Reddit, Wong will be working on expanding the popular social platform’s digital advertising business, as well as helping the company better its “diversity and inclusion” efforts. Wong is taking over not long after previous interim CEO Ellen Pao stepped down after ag roup of Redditers angry for her dismissal of a an employee that ran its popular AMA series launched a vicious campaign of harassment, so she’ll likely have her hands full. Also, Reddit, the 6th most visited site in the world, recently passed Twitter’s active user numbers and has the highest engagement time per visit among the top 20 most popular websites, so she’s coming in at a time of great acceleration for the company.

NOTHIN’ BUT ‘NET

Kanye’s comeback to Twitter deserves a Pulitzer.

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