Legion M intends to be the world's first fan-owned entertainment company. Jeff Annison, president and co-founder of Legion M, says Hollywood studios have been imposing their will on the audience for too long.
"Our competitive advantage is that we already have fans attached to the project," said Annison. "It's not Hollywood studios pushing its products on the viewer."
Legion M has received nearly $1 million in reservations for stock in the company since its official launch at the first-ever Silicon Valley Comic Con in March, according to Annison. None of those reservations are binding, and no money has changed hands yet.
"We are able to do this because of the new Jobs Act, which is changing securities laws that have been on the books for 80 years," said Annison. "This is the first time non-accredited investors are allowed to do something like this."
Legion M co-founders Annison and Paul Scanlan are the Emmy-winning team who co-founded MobiTV, a pioneer in over-the-top and multiscreen platforms and content monetization, as well as the New York Rock Exchange, which brought fans and their favorite musical artists together in partnership.
Legion M boasts creative partners like Stoopid Buddy Stoodios, Meltdown Entertainment and Animal Repair Shop/42 Entertainment. Annison said additional content providers will be added to the line-up.
Stoopid Buddy Stoodios, for example, is an artist-friendly collective that houses some of the finest talent in the animation world. Founded by partners Seth Green, John Harvatine IV, Matthew Senreich and Eric Towner, the company is home to the longest-running stop-motion show on television, Robot Chicken, as well as Sony (SNE) Crackle's SuperMansion. Stoopid Buddy is also behind Sony Pictures Animation's hybrid animated features such as Mattel's (MAT) WWE Slam City, MAD's stop-motion Spy vs. Spy, and Netflix's (NFLX) upcoming Buddy Thunderstruck.
While Legion is fan-owned, it will not choose projects on a purely democratic basis. Fans will have a say in the projects that get selected and it will help the creators develop the material, according to Annison.
"This is not crowdfunding," said Annison. "It's an investment, not a donation or a pre-sale."