And…the news just keeps coming, as multi pronged telecom IDT has acquired a controlling interest in comics publisher IDW. Some hint of this development was dropped recently when IDT VP Clifford Meth switched over to become a VP at IDW.
IDT Internet Mobile Group (IMG), a division of IDT Corporation, has formed Zedge Studios to develop and license digital content for distribution through web and mobile platforms. Additionally, IMG has acquired a controlling interest in IDW Publishing (www.idwpublishing.com), a leading independent comics publisher pre-eminent in the horror, action, and sci-fi genres, boasting such high-profile titles as The Transformers, 30 Days of Night, CSI, Star Trek, 24, and Scarface.
Moshe Berger, formerly CEO of IDT Entertainment, which was sold to Liberty Media in 2006, is now working towards making IDT’s Internet Mobile Group an industry leader. “We have seen the explosion of digital content, especially user-generated content, over a variety of platforms,” said Mr. Berger, IMG CEO and head of Zedge Studios. “This is what the new generation of consumers craves. Our intention is for Zedge Studios to become the worldwide destination for content on the web and on mobile devices. IDW Publishing’s stellar reputation in the comics and graphic novel arenas and its emphasis on original intellectual properties in the action and horror genres are a perfect fit for Zedge Studios. Working closely with IDW’s brilliant management and creative team will bring us one step closer to achieving our global goal.”
An established leader in the comic book and graphic novel marketplace, IDW Publishing has been named “Publisher of the Year” by Diamond Comic Distributors for the previous three years. In keeping with that honor, IDW maintains a commitment to nurturing original content from its dynamic creative roster. For instance, Sam Raimi (Spider-Man) and his Ghost House Pictures optioned the rights to 30 Days of Night from IDW Publishing and are producing the live-action feature film adaptation of the original horror work, published by IDW and created by Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith. Columbia Pictures is scheduled to release the film, which stars Josh Hartnett, in October.
“I’m proud of the growth we’ve achieved at IDW over the last eight years and very excited to be working with IDT and IMG’s Zedge Studios to catapult our company into new territories,” said IDW co-founder and CEO Ted Adams. “We look forward to the expanded opportunities that this new business relationship will produce for our existing and future properties.”
In December of 2006, IMG announced its acquisition of Zedge (www.zedge.net), a popular social networking community for mobile users and provider of free mobile content which recently topped the five million member mark. Zedge Studios will capitalize and build upon that loyal user base by developing, acquiring and financing intellectual property (IP) for distribution over multiple channels, including Zedge.net. The site hosts a wealth of complimentary content and tools for mobile phones, with over 250 million pieces of content already downloaded. Zedgers generate, upload, download, or view and share wallpaper, themes, videos, ringtones, games and other free mobile content. Zedge also hosts a robust social community and its blog, zedgeheadz (http://blog.zedge.net), focuses on the world of mobile content.
IDW Publishing is an established leader in the comic book and graphic novel marketplace, particularly in the horror, action, and sci-fi genres. IDW lists some of the most successful and print titles in the industry among its portfolio, including: television’s #1 prime time series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Sony’s Underworld; Paramount’s Star Trek; Fox’s 24; Hasbro’s The Transformers; Universal’s Scarface, Land of the Dead and Shaun of the Dead; and Konami’s Silent Hill, Castlevania, and Metal Gear Solid. The company also works with foreign licensing agents to sell their comics around the world, with titles being published in multiple languages and crossing dozens of regions.
About IDT Internet Mobile Group/Zedge Studios:
IDT Internet Mobile Group’s (IMG) Zedge Studios develops and licenses original content for distribution through online and mobile platforms. Zedge Studios encompasses Zedge.net, the Norway-based user-generated mobile content and social networking community acquired in December, 2006. IDT Internet Mobile Group is part of IDT Corporation (NYSE: IDT, IDT.C), a multinational company with operations in telecommunications and other industries.
About IDT Corporation
IDT Corporation is an innovative and opportunity seeking multinational company with operations that span various industries. Through its Telecom subsidiary, IDT provides telecommunications services worldwide to the retail and wholesale markets. IDT’s Capital division incubates newer businesses, and the company’s Spectrum subsidiary holds its spectrum license assets. IDT Telecom provides retail and wholesale telecommunications services and products, including pre-paid and rechargeable calling cards, consumer local, long distance, and wireless phone services, and wholesale carrier services. Under the Net2Phone brand name, the company also provides a range of voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) communications services. IDT Capital’s operations include an Energy Services Company (ESCO) in New York State, receivables portfolio management and collection, ethnic food distribution, brochure distribution and other initiatives. IDT Corporation’s Class B Common Stock and Common Stock trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbols IDT and IDT.C, respectively.