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Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt is among the business leaders who will be speaking at the two-day OASIS Summit in Santa Monica.
This Friday, South by Southwest gets underway in Austin, Texas. The hugely successful conference has spawned many imitators, including a two-day event that starts in Santa Monica Wednesday.
No conference could come close to scale of South by Southwest, which now includes three separate tracts: Music, film and interactive. But what it lacks in size, Santa Monica’s OASIS: The Montgomery Summit tries to make up for with an alluring pitch: We might make you very rich.
“There’s been billions of dollars raised here," said Santa Monica-based tech investor Jamie Montgomery, who founded the conference.
His invitation-only event matches up 145 start-ups wanting to raise capital with more than 400 investors and 400 executives from around the world.
This year, companies generally fall under the theme of social, mobile, analytics, or cloud computing and come in three sizes: “First Look” companies generating less than $10 million in yearly revenues; “Emerging” companies with revenues between $10 million and $50 million; and “Growth” companies with yearly revenues exceeding $50 million.
Orange County Register Publisher Aaron Kushner (left) and company President Eric Spitz.
Good morning! Welcome to KPCC's business blog, The Breakdown. Every weekday morning, I'll compile a list of interesting business stories affecting Southern California.
- RadioShack said it plans to close up to 1,100 underperforming stores nationwide, according to the Wall Street Journal. The retailer reported a net loss of about $191 million in the fourth quarter.
- TV's future? Disney signs on for ad-skipping, web-based Pay TV, according to Ad Age. Under the deal, Dish agreed to "disable" its "AutoHop" DVR, which lets customers skip ads during the first three days after an episode airs, Ad Age reports. The agreement is significant as networks look for new ways to gain revenue besides traditional ads. Ad Age also reports that CBS plans to sell new commercials inside old episodes available on demand.
- Los Angeles developer Jerry Snyder is feeling bullish about the area's prospects. Bloomberg reports Snyder, 84, has $600 million worth of projects planned or under construction.
- Last week, I reported on a Milken Institute report that said New York is California's biggest competitor in the nation for film and TV production. New York offers $420 million a year in film tax credits, compared to California's $100 million a year. There's been efforts by legislators to increase California's program to stop runaway production.
- So how exactly are things going in New York? It's hard to say, according to The Post-Standard. State officials won't give the newspaper details on how much tax money was given to productions last year.
- Hollywood's early 2014 Oscar gains mask looming challenge, Bloomberg reports. It will be tough to beat strong results in 2013, according to Bloomberg.
- An effort to bring the Formula One race to Long Beach could be costly for the city, according to the Press-Telegram. It may require $50 million to $100 million in expenditures to update and prepare the city, as well as a race hosting fee, the Press-Telegram reports.
- Tribune Co., the corporate parent of the Los Angeles Times, invested $700,000 in news website Mashable, according to Re/code. The deal comes as Tribune plans to spin-off its newspapers into its own separate company.
- Los Angeles Register reporters have been seen around L.A. City Hall, according to LA Observed. Below is a tweet from Dakota Smith, a reporter with the Los Angeles Daily News.
If you saw the space thriller "Gravity" in one of 300 theaters designed with Dolby's Atmos technology, you heard the movie exactly as its makers intended, according to Quartz. The film won the Oscar for sound mixing on Sunday night.
Every weekday, we compile a list of interesting business stories in the region on "The Breakdown," KPCC's business blog.
- The space thriller "Gravity" won the Oscar for sound mixing Sunday night, and if you saw the film in one of 300 theaters designed with Dolby's Atmos technology, you heard the movie exactly as its makers intended, according to Quartz.
- Boasting the best-picture winner, "12 Years A Slave," specialty distributor Fox Searchlight claimed three Oscar statuettes, but rival Warner Bros. took home the most gold, a whopping 10 awards, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
- Apple announced Monday that car makers will begin offering a new technology called CarPlay, which aims to keep drivers from fumbling with their iPhones while they're behind the wheel, reports NPR.
- California’s largest fiscal issue is the $80 billion unfunded liability of its teacher pension system, which is accumulating debt at a rate of $22 million per day, according to David Crane, Bloomberg View contributor.
- Freedom Communications on Sunday announced the sale of its Victorville and Barstow daily newspapers to New Media Investment Group Inc. for $8 million, according to the OC Register.
Mattel makes a move into Lego's playing field by agreeing to acquire Mega Brands.
Mattel is the world’s largest toy maker by sales, but it doesn’t really play in the construction toy category. Lego is the powerhouse there, but Mega Brands, with its Mega Bloks, is number two. Mattel CEO Bryan Stockton said for the past few years, “construction” has been one of the fastest growing toy categories.
"It’s not just a boy’s toy anymore," Stockton told investors in a conference call announcing the deal. "It really crosses gender and ages. So we think it’s a great opportunity to expand our brands like Barbie and Hot Wheels into this important category."
Stockton added that acquiring Mega Brands will help Mattel build on its entertainment partnerships. Mattel has some licensing deals with companies like Viacom, owner of Nickelodeon and Disney, owner of Pixar and Marvel, but in the construction toy segment, again, Lego dominates. Sean McGowan, Toy Industry analyst with Needham and Company said with Mega Brand, Mattel could make a stronger play for more licenses.
Silver Linings Playbook
Jackie Weaver and Robert DeNiro star in "Silver Linings Playbook." Research firm IBISWorld said more than 50 percent of the movie's ticket sales came from the six weeks between its nomination and the 2013 Academy Awards.
This Sunday at the Academy Awards, when the best motion picture is announced, the winning team will earn more than just gold statues.
The "best picture" winner generates $13.8 million more in sales than their fellow nominees at the box office after their win, according to research firm IBISWorld Inc., which analyzed five years worth of data.
The additional revenue is because of the increased marketing push the winning movie will receive.
"As one of the most coveted Oscar awards, winners not only benefit from free airtime that major companies pay millions for, but are covered in nearly all major news publications the following day," wrote IBISWorld industry analyst Britanny Carter to KPCC in an e-mail.
Nominees win too
Just being nominated can also be lucrative for movies. Films that are nominated for best picture in the 2008 to 2012 Academy Awards on average had $127.7 million in sales at the box office, with an average budget of $56.9 million, according to IBISWorld.