Site will help owners distribute titles
Film and TV library owners are getting a new way to sell their buried treasures.Ascent Media Group, a subsid of John Malone’s Discovery Holding Co., is launching an online marketplace to help rights owners sell and deliver their library titles to distribs worldwide. Site, dubbed Ascent Global Media Exchange (GMX for short), is skedded to come online at the beginning of the fourth quarter. Ascent has 74 facilities around the globe providing post-production and other technical services. Malone has a controlling interest in Discovery and is its chairman and CEO. Company hopes to give rights holders a cost-effective way to market downlist movies, TV shows or other video content to cable or broadcast outlets and web publishers. “Not ‘long-tail’ content,” Ascent CEO Jose Royo told Variety, “but content that has been valuable at some time in the past but hasn’t been generating revenue because of the cost of distribution and fulfillment.” GMX will allow content owners to put samples from their libraries online, list terms if they choose and conduct blind auctions. Buyers acquire the rights online and choose their delivery format. That would trigger Ascent (or another post house) to transfer the show and prep it for delivery. While other online marketplace sites have been attempted, Ascent claims GMX will be the first site offering both acquisition and fulfillment worldwide. Company is banking on its extensive relationships and reputation to encourage use of the site. Royo said he sees GMX as a supplement to the big content markets, not a replacement for face-to-face meetings. “There’s always going to be a need to do business that way, but there’s a lot of content that’s looking for a distribution channel,” he said.