Walmarts Eko teams up with Refinery29 on interactive videos

Last fall, Walmart announced a joint venture with Eko to create interactive storytelling think Netflixs Black Mirror: Bandersnatch for both entertainment and retail. Since then, Eko has been working with BuzzFeed on a range of interactive videos, as well as on projects for Walmarts Vudu and others for its own video site. Today, Ekos latest partner has been unveiled: millennial-focused digital media company, Refinery29.
According to Variety, which first reported the news, Eko will produce several series based on Refinery29s content, starting with an interactive scripted project for the sites Money Diaries personal finance column, podcast, and book. The online series saw 7 million uniques in 2018 and is one of Refinery29s top properties, the report noted.
In the Eko videos, viewers will be able to make choices about how to manage and spend the characters money. Other Eko-produced Refinery29 shows will include the unscripted travel series 60 Second Cities and another focused on womens living spaces, Sweet Digs.
The shows will debut on Refinery29s website by year-end, and will be promoted across social media. Eko and Refinery29 will share in the advertising and sponsorship revenues the series generate.
Because Ekos videos allow viewers to make choices, media companies can learn from what viewers click on to better tailor their content to the viewers interests. Videos can also become more personalized to the viewers individual needs in BuzzFeeds case, for example, a recipe video could show how to customize the dish for dietary restrictions. This same set of advantages will be translated to Refinery29s properties, as well.
Walmart invested $250 million into its joint venture with Eko last fall, with the aim of developing all sorts of interactive content, from toy catalogs to cooking shows, Reuters noted at the time.
In addition to the BuzzFeed and Refinery29 series, Eko is working with Hollywood producers on its other projects, includingthe Duplass Brothers,Fine Brothers,Nora Kirkpatrick, and others, and plans to delve into fashion, beauty, and other scripted content in the future.
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