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Culture

Intel invests in Japanese content distributor

The chipmaker teams with talent agency Yoshimoto Kogyo to fund Bellrock Media's plans to deliver music and movies online.

Intel said it is earmarking some of its Digital Home money to help fund a Japanese company that specializes in distributing movies and music online.

The chipmaking giant said Bellrock Media will get an undisclosed slice of Intel Capital's $200 million business-development pie. The fund helps feed start-ups that fit in with Intel's vision of homes filled with a universe of connected devices based on its architecture.

Bellrock said it will use the money to help expand its business of making and shipping original digital video content online as well as distributing wider-known music CD and DVD titles. The deal also includes an agreement between Intel and Yoshimoto Kogyo, one of the largest talent agencies in Japan, representing approximately 700 artists.

Bellrock was recently established in the United States as a strategic company for Yoshimoto Kogyo's group companies and Japan's Faith Inc., whose content distribution service targets both PCs and cell phones.

Bellrock's media division said it intends to acquire domestic and international content rights, and to expand its businesses using Yoshimoto Kogyo's talent as the hook. Starting this month, Bellrock said it will offer Yoshimoto Kogyo's music CD/DVD and comedy DVD titles produced by Yoshimoto Kogyo's group.

Already, Intel Japan and Bellrock have produced a short movie featuring Yoshimoto entertainers that highlights Bellrock's plans.

Intel said it will also work with Yoshimoto to expand that company's online portfolio and optimize its content for Intel's PCs and laptops that feature high-definition audio and video.

By making the broadband business its core business strategy, Yoshimoto Kogyo said it intends to create new business based on a keyword of "comedy."