The Most Innovative Companies in Entertainment

  1. Hulu: More than 1,000 shows and movies from 120 providers. Free. Coming soon, a 12-step program for Hulu addicts.
  2. Disney: Another Pixar original with box-office appeal (Wall-E). Another $1 billion in sales for both Hannah Montana and High School Musical. Another franchise in the making in the Jonas Brothers.
  3. NPR: By moving boldly into multimedia and tapping philanthropic funding, NPR has become a cultural force.
  4. Busboy Productions: Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert didn’t invent political satire. It just feels that way, after a boffo election year for Stewart’s production company.
  5. CAA: Iron Man, for which the firm represented the stars, writers, and director, told the usual story: In Hollywood, there’s CAA and there’s everybody else.
  6. Weta Digital: The Oscar-winning outfit cofounded by director Peter Jackson is known for out-of-this-world special effects.
  7. Netflix: Nimbly making the transition from DVDs in red envelopes to instant video streaming, Netflix saw subscriptions rise 20% and sales grow 13%.
  8. Participant Media: Jeff Skoll’s creation showed once again how to make top-notch movies (Standard Operating Procedure, The Visitor) while doing good.
  9. Media Rights Capital: This boutique production outfit was the brains behind Seth MacFarlane’s “Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy” on Google’s ad network, the year’s boldest distribution experiment.
  10. AMC: How do you boost buzz and ad revenue for a stagnant cable channel that airs classic movies? Mad Men.