David Johnson CEO Compact Media

Compact Media Group, aiming to grow its work in secondary TV and film rights, has announced the appointment David Johnson as its chief executive officer.

The exec, who replaces John O’Sullivan, had joined Compact in 2012 as chief operating officer. He had worked previously in exec posts for for BBC and ITV, during which he worked on the mergers with United and Carlton becoming commercial and operations director of all of ITV’s international businesses.

London-based Compact, established in 1996, launched in L.A. in 2008 to give companies a means to collect royalties for U.S. producers arising from foreign telecasts and other exploitation of copyrighted material. Since a 2010 investment from Lyceum Capital MBO, it’s gone from 300 clients to nearly 700.

Johnson told Variety that about a third of the clients are U.S.-based.

The company also operates Rights.TV, acquired in 2011, as a business affairs consultancy to the UK creative industries. Compact also has a content and business development funding consultancy, aimed at working with producers to attract funding; and content aggregation service that advises producers on digital distribution opportunities access to place contracts with digital channels and new digital players, such as Netflix, YouTube and Amazon.

But its core business remains collections in the market for secondary rights — an overall market it estimates at $500 million per year in royalties from private copy, public performance, educational copying, cable and satellite retransmission.

Compact, which describes itself as the leading player in this specialized market, is  currently handling $30 million to $40 million in royalties each quarter.

“These rights are more important than ever as companies’ budgets get tighter,” Johnson said.


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