Eisner Turns to the Internet with Vuguru

Former Disney chief Michael Eisner has apparently set his sights on the Internet, announcing the formation of a new indepenent studio Vuguru with the mission to create and distribute original digital content. Vuguru intends to establish itself as as the leader in high-quality, story-driven content for the Internet which, “up until now,” could only be found in movies and television.

“In the past few years, the development of exciting and innovative digital media platforms and technologies has outpaced the creation of truly great content,” said Michael Eisner. “Vuguru will produce and showcase original and third party content in all genres and formats to meet the new demands of the evolving media landscape.”

Vuguru’s first production is Prom Queen, a scripted mystery which will unfold over 80 90-second episodes beginning April 2, 2007. The short-form episodes are designed to translate well acress multiple platforms (no doubt including the Internet and mobile phones) and appeal to technologically-hip young viewers. Prom Queen videos will be hosted by Veoh (another company in which Eisner invests); Prom Queen will also be available via sponsor ELLEgirl.com and video-sharing giant YouTube, as well as other sites.

Vuguru is a spin-off of Einser’s Tornante Company, which produced Prom Queen in conjuntion with independent production team Big Fantastic, which produced the online video podcast/serial Sam Has 7 Friends.

Vuguru announced a spate of sponsors for Prom Queen, including Fiji Water, POM Wonderful (Pomegranate Juice and POM Tea), and Teleflora.com, in addition to Ellegirl. The company also made apparel partnerships with Victoria’s Secret Pink, Jessica McClintock, People’s Liberation, HotKiss, and others, and a partnership with StarStyle.com will let viewers buy items features in Prom Queen episodes while watching.

It’s no clear whether online video serials/video podcasts have enough market momentum to pay off for sponsors—or whether the coveted teenage girl demographic targeted by Prom Queen will tolerate 80 episodes laden with product placement and sponsorship tie-ins. But Eisner was always fond of starting new projects in last place, noting “You can’t fall off the floor.” And there’s no doubt advertisers are all about getting their brands out to new media, even if that media doesn’t yet know what it’s doing.

Smart Home

Wyze’s next ultra-affordable smart device is an $8 light bulb

Budget smart home device manufacturer Wyze has done it again, announcing Tuesday that it is taking orders on an $8 smart light bulb. The bulb, now available for pre-order exclusively through the app in a limited access run, ships in June.
Smart Home

Mount your TV correctly with the best stud finders of 2019

Endlessly searching for a stud in your wall can be a chore. Fortunately, these stud finders are both high-tech and straightforward, meaning you can drill, nail, and hang with the utmost confidence.

Home Depot Memorial Day sale drops prices on grills, tools, and appliances

Though Memorial Day sales traditionally begin the weekend before the actual day itself, Home Depot has already released its discounts. You can save up to 40% on major appliances, grills, and power tools for a limited time.
Smart Home

Alexa, how’s the smart home revolution doing? As it turns out, just fine

More than a third of broadband-equipped households now own at least one remotely monitored internet-connected device, with smart speakers outpacing thermostats and networked cameras by a margin of more than three to one, analysts at Parks…
Smart Home

Walmart, Home Depot, ABT, Best Buy drop huge appliance sales for Memorial Day

Memorial Day weekend brings kitchen appliance sales just before the summer season begins. We searched Home Depot, Best Buy, ABT, and Walmart for their best appliance deals on washers, dryers, ranges, refrigerators, and kitchen suites.
Smart Home

Best outdoor grill deals for Memorial Day from Amazon, Home Depot, and Walmart

Summer means outdoor living and, especially, outdoor cooking! With Memorial Day Weekend starting in just a few days, this is the time to give serious consideration to buying a new outdoor grill and it's not too late to find excellent deals.
Home Theater

FCC filing leaks smaller Samsung Galaxy Home before the first one even launches

Samsung's promised entry into the A.I.-powered smart speaker race, the Galaxy Home, is still nowhere to be seen. But that isn't stopping the company from planning a follow-up device, which will be smaller, and likely cheaper.
Smart Home

Selling or trading in an Echo Dot? Here's how to factory reset your device

Need to get rid of an old Echo Dot? If you no longer need your Dot, or you're swapping it out for another product, don’t throw it away. This guide includes info on the trade-in or sale value of your old Dot.
Smart Home

Neato Botvac D6 robot vacuum gets a big $330 price cut through Memorial Day

Neato is one of our favorite robot vacuum manufacturers besides iRobot, which has all but become the industry's standard for quality. We've just been alerted to a special sale on last years Botvac D6 Connected model at Best Buy, saving you…

Amazon boosts productivity by gamifying warehouse workers’ tedium

Amazon is letting its warehouse staff play video games while they work. The games have been specially designed to inject some fun into the daily grind and, of course, to encourage them to work more quickly.

Best Buy offers a free Sengled smart LED kit with $200 Arlo smart security sale

Best Buy is offering up a sweet smart home starter pack, with a Sengled LED A19 smart bulb kit included for free with every purchase of $200 on Arlo items. Kickstart your smart home now with this lights/camera action.
Smart Home

Lenovo’s pint-sized smart alarm clock is set to ship next month

Lenovo opened up pre-orders for its Smart Clock, which it debuted at CES 2019, and announced that it will begin shipping to customers on June 2. The compact bedside companion is retailing for $79.

Best Buy Memorial Day sale: Dyson vacuums, Keurig coffee makers, and more

Best Buy's Memorial Day sale is focusing the majority of its deals on appliances. Washers, dryers, refrigerators, vacuums, and coffee makers are all receiving some pretty substantial price cuts.

Best Memorial Day sales 2019: Best Buy, Walmart, and Home Depot drop discounts

If you're looking to save big on some shiny new stuff for Memorial Day 2019, we've gathered everything you need to know into one place. Find out where to save the most money before the summer hits its stride.