Ron Howard teamed up with longtime collaborator Brian Grazer and Discovery Communications back in 2014 to launch a digital studio to produce programming for the newfangled digital media and distribution markets. They aptly called the new company New Form Digital and started with $5 million in the bank from the aforementioned Discovery and other Hollywood notables, like Imagine co-chairman Michael Rosenberg, attorney Craig Jacobson, former Tribune Broadcasting president Ed Wilson, former William Morris CEO Jim Wiatt, and CAA.
The company’s done a lot in the two-and-half years since, including most recently receiving and influx of cash.
New Form just announced today an $18 million Series B Funding Round from ITV and Discovery, the former of which will also be an important strategic partner for the studio’s growth.
“New Form’s hit rate has been very impressive since launching only two years ago and they are a great fit for ITV Studios and our OTT service, the ITV Hub, as we continue to build our digital content capability,” stated ITV Managing Director Online, Pay TV & Interactive, Simon Pitts in the release.
And he’s not lying about that hit rate. Since its inception, New Form has produced 30 pilots, 20 of which have been sold to series to almost every established and upstart online video platform in the industry today. That includes, but is not limited to, go90, YouTube Red, Refinery 29, CW Seed, Freeform Digital, and Fullscreen. Plus, the studio recently announced it’s partnering with Conan O’Brien’s Conaco production shop to bring the online animated hit Finale Space to linear TV via TBS.
The $18 million will allow New Form to “further invest in its proven development and production model,” according to the release, while additionally giving the studio the resources to venture into branded entertainment, international expansion, and social video programming. The company’s raised a total of $30 million to date.
“This investment marks a significant validation of New Form’s focus and creative output over the last two years,” said newly appointed New Form CEO, Kathleen Grace (who was just upped from the position of Chief Creative Officer. “Our vision for storytelling, our understanding of the audience and our unique production process, coupled with our track record with finding like-minded distributors, has made us the most prolific studio in the business and we are thrilled to have ITV and Discovery as partners for New Form’s next chapter.”
Grace will be aided in her efforts by New Form COO, JC Cangilla, Executive Vice President of Originals and Development, Melissa Schneider, and a laundry list of formidable creative partners.
To see some of their recent work in action, take a look at Mr. Student Body President. The scripted series is a kind of comically-including House of Cards meets high school. It’s co-created, written, and directed by longtime online video vets Ryan Hunter and Jack Ferry and stars YouTube and social video stars and features Arden Rose, Jeremy Shada, Gabriel Conte, Jason Nash, Meghan Rienks, Alexa Losey, Grace Helbig, Mitchell Davis, Olan Rogers, and Jonah Green and is distributed by go90.