ICM Partners has forged a partnership with Screenz, a cross-media company, to develop apps, games and other interactive entertainment experiences built around television, the companies announced on Wednesday.
Screenz, a joint venture between Israeli-based Keshet Broadcasting and the Box, an international content and advertising company, is a technology company that already has made apps and other TV-related experiences for smartphones, tablets and laptops.
This partnership will unite those products with ICM Partners’ client list, operational know-how, Hollywood power and consulting savvy.
"Over the last two years, second screen and interactive entertainment experiences have revolutionized the way audiences watch content and engage with each other, and with the incredible products and proven technologies that Screenz has operated around the world, our partnership is poised to drive the innovations that will shape our industry and benefit our clients," Keyvan Peymani, head of digital strategy at ICM Partners, said in a statement.
"We wanted to find a partner that has proven itself in the market beyond 'Isn’t this a cool technology?'," he later told TheWrap. "We now have access to developers we're partnering with who have created actual products."
It's about giving clients the ability to shape both the experience viewers are getting through linear tv and what they can do with new technology on other devices."
Peymani joined ICM Partners in June to lead and expand the agency's digital department, and this marks the first of many deals he hopes to make to satisfy that mandate.
Over the past few years, agencies have incubated and invested in start-ups in areas like social media and gaming, often leveraging their clients’ status to push the product out. Hollywood stars lend their name to new products for equity, and in some cases involve themselves in its day-to-day business.
ICM Partners would also like to be involved from the early stages, playing a large role in the development of products.
This new collaboration pushes the agency into a rapidly evolving space. Multi-platform viewing, interactive television and new mobile devices continue to change the TV industry, which ICM Partners plays a large role in, thanks to clients like Ellen DeGeneres, "Two and a Half Men" creator Chuck Lorre and "Sons of Anarchy" creator Kurt Sutter.
"We have some of the foremost experts on the agency side who know what can and can't work in the TV space, and some of our clients are already in the second screen space," Peymani said. "This is about us thinking through this space in a much more strategic and creative way."
The two companies hope that this partnership will result in products that better engage TV viewers and extend the brand of certain shows or stars.
"This is a fantastic time to partner with ICM Partners, one of the preeminent agencies in the world, in this unique relationship, Eldar Rapaport, Screenz CEO, said in a statement. "The TV echo system is rapidly changing and the market has to adapt, from broadcasters to producers to advertisers. This partnership will lead the way."