Verizon becomes official 5G innovation partner to Simon Fuller

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NEW YORK, 8 December 2020

Companies partner to create the future of immersive entertainment

  • Verizon and Simon Fuller, guiding light behind the Spice Girls, legendary creator of the American Idol franchise, and founder of XIX Entertainment, announce a new partnership, which aims to transform storytelling and entertainment using 5G Ultra Wideband and extended reality (XR).
  • XIX will work in collaboration with Verizon’s XR Lab, 5G Labs, and Verizon’s engineers to craft and deliver new storytelling formats and experiences.
  • The first project to emerge from this game-changing partnership to be a short-form immersive video that can be experienced in virtual reality (VR), coming early next year.

Verizon is teaming with Simon Fuller, guiding light behind the Spice Girls, legendary creator of the American Idol franchise, and founder of XIX Entertainment, to transform storytelling and entertainment using 5G, virtual reality (VR) and extended reality (XR). Verizon will work with Simon and his XIX team to conceptualize and create a sequence of new entertainment experiences powered by Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband.

XIX will be collaborating with Verizon’s XR and 5G Labs to craft new storytelling experiences. The content that Verizon and XIX create together will be optimized for audiences empowered with 5G-connected devices or next-gen entertainment devices like VR headsets or AR glasses.

The companies’ first project is expected to be a short-form VR experience designed by Fuller and his team using custom, industry-leading 360 Stereoscopic 3D cameras and maximizing the visual and audio fidelity of VR headsets, to create superior and more immersive experiences.

“By leveraging 5G Ultra Wideband and XR capabilities, we’re able to create immersive stories that relay emotional depth and bring the wider possibility of what 5G means for entertainment into view,” said Erin McPherson, Head of Consumer Content and Programming at Verizon. “Simon’s track record in creating game-changing moments in popular culture speaks for itself, and this first project is the tip of the iceberg. We can’t wait to show how the massive bandwidth, super-fast speeds, and ultra-low latency of Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband can forever change this new generation of entertainment.”

Simon Fuller has a successful track record in the use of future-facing technology that engages with audiences in innovative and unexpected ways. In 2002, Fuller’s creation American Idol became the first network TV show to encourage television viewers to vote in the millions for their favorite singers by texting on their smartphones. Two years later, Fuller’s iTunes deal with Steve Jobs and Apple for Idol music downloads presaged the huge surge in sales of iPods across America.

Later partnerships with superstar talent and fast growing platforms further reflect his standing as a thought leader in global entertainment and technology.

“I am a huge believer in the powerful creative impact Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband will bring to the entertainment industry. Suddenly what previously could only be imagined, is now a reality,” said Simon Fuller, XIX founder. “The quantity of information and quality of the imagery that can now be shared in near real time, enabling interaction with friends and streamed content instantaneously, is a complete game changer. This will transform the way people connect with each other and experience entertainment. Our partnership with Verizon allows us to explore and define a whole new approach to creativity in this immersive world.”

Learn more about Verizon 5G technology here.

About Verizon

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ) was formed on June 30, 2000 and is celebrating its 20th year as one of the world’s leading providers of technology, communications, information and entertainment products and services. Headquartered in New York City and with a presence around the world, Verizon generated revenues of $131.9 billion in 2019. The company offers data, video and voice services and solutions on its award-winning networks and platforms, delivering on customers’ demand for mobility, reliable network connectivity, security and control.

About Simon Fuller’s XIX Entertainment

XIX Entertainment has a track record in hit format innovation, star talent platforms and high-value brand partnerships. The business is owned by EMMY award-winning entrepreneur Simon Fuller, whose background includes ventures with the Spice Girls, Abba, David Beckham & Victoria Beckham, Sir Michael Caine, Amy Winehouse, Now United and others, in addition to his role as the creator of the landmark TV format American Idol.

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Media Contacts

Chris Ashraf (Verizon) | +1 (201) 320 4259
Twitter: @ChrisMoonPR

Bernie Karkar (XIX) | +44 (0) 207 801 1919
Twitter: @XIX_News

Julian Henry (XIX) | +44 (0) 207 801 1919
Twitter: @XIX_News