Modernising a Tradition

23 Jun 2017

Modernising a Tradition

Secondary television and online video rights portal boasts efficiency

By Lunita S V Mendoza

What was once the hottest new buzzword, digitization has somewhat melted into the business fabric of wheelin’ and dealin’, becoming common speak in today’s strategies and board KPIs.

With new products being thrown around at massive markets, like this year’s ATF, it’s hard to find a moment to consider the second-hand value last season’s offerings can still bring.

So Matthew Frank, CEO of TRX, found a new tale to tell, relevant to many, if this service picks up in Asia. 

“The need for modernising the way in which (secondary television and online video) rights are bought and sold is clear with most content buyers and sellers in agreement that a more efficient and quicker way to deal with each other is highly desirable,” said Matthew, “And like in so many other sectors of business, we felt that by applying technology to the process, we could bring this much needed efficiency.”

At the time of this interview, Matthew spoke about toe-dipping this service in some parts of Asia. “We tested a first version of TRX on a limited number of buyers in the Asia region to gain their feedback on the system, and this has been incredibly useful in developing TRX further ahead of our full roll out later this year,” Matthew explained.

The feedback has seen TRX building three new features that will be in place ahead of the full roll out, which includes the ability to do multi-territory and package deals, and the capacity for buyers and sellers to communicate via a chat facility at any point in the negotiation.

Matthew did admit that at the moment, the small number of Asians using the system are doing so more to buy content than sell, “but we see this changing over time, as we try and bring more local content on board.”

iNSiGHTS magazine chats with Matthew further to get his take on how TRX is filling an industry gap…

Matthew Frank

iNSiGHTS Magazine: What has been an industry concern with rights today? 

Matthew Frank: Sellers are finding it increasingly difficult (if not impossible) to effectively service the increasing number of buyers around the world and sell all of their catalogues. Buyers, on the other hand, find it difficult to access all the content in distributors catalogues and spend a lot of time getting hold of rights information and programme avails.

iNSiGHTS Magazine: Has selling rights become increasingly complicated with multi-platforms offerings?

Matthew Frank: Yes. The number of rights being traded has increased dramatically with the advent of numerous VOD rights and catch up rights etc., which has added to the complexity of deal making, further slowing down the process.

iNSiGHTS Magazine: Can you explain a little more about TRX being a secondary rights marketplace?

Matthew Frank: TRX is an online deal making tool that allows buyers and sellers of finished programme content to do deals much quicker and more simply than ever before. Rights holders and distributors can exploit their entire catalogue of rights everywhere all the time using TRX while buyers can see all this content in one place, get instant avails and then buy it quickly and efficiently.

iNSiGHTS Magazine: Can you elaborate on your most popular kind of content and the profile of your biggest sellers?

Matthew Frank: TRX offers a very broad range of content including scripted, non-scripted and kids. Right now we nearly 10,000 hours of content available which has come from around 50 different distributors who are mainly UK and US based. These include Sky Vision, All3 Media, DRG, Hat Trick, Cineflix, Off the Fence and Discovery. In due course, TRX will also be offering both movies and short form content.

iNSiGHTS Magazine: What has been the top 3 biggest gripe of buyers thus far? What of sellers?

Matthew Frank: We are now building some additional features in response to feedback (of buyers and sellers). These include the ability to do multi-territory and package deals. Once these features are ready and tested we will be rolling TRX out to the rest of the world later in 2017.

iNSiGHTS Magazine : What has been the biggest barrier for TRX thus far?

Matthew Frank: Like any new system I think the biggest challenge we face is getting buyers and sellers to change their behaviour and embrace this new way of doing things. We have worked very hard to ensure TRX is simple and easy to use so that this change will be something that will be relatively painless and will deliver significant benefits to both buyers and sellers.

iNSiGHTS Magazine : How is TRX fairing in APAC and the percentage of Asian content success?

Matthew Frank: At the moment, we have over 150 registered buyers on TRX from the APAC region and nearly 10,000 hours of content available. Our agents in the region – Vision Plus Entertainment – are in a constant dialogue with both buyers and sellers and what has become clear is the need for us to have more local content available on the site so we are working hard to bring more Asian based distributors on to the system to address this need. 

Catch TRX at ATF 2017 on Level 5 @J09!

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