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Singapore’s AllRites Launches Digital Film, TV Marketplace

A Singapore-based startup has launched AllRites Marketplace. It is pitched as the world’s first fully-operational online platform allowing content buyers to trade film and TV rights.

AllRites Marketplace has been in beta form since July last year and starts formally this month – between APOS, Miptv and the Cannes Film Festival – with some 17,000 hours of mainly Asian content. It has ambitions to expand to world scale.

AllRites was founded and is operated by Riaz Mehta, who spent 17 years at Australian tech firm KAZ Group, before founding Imagine Group, a producer of large-scale reality shows including “The Contender Asia,” and “The Biggest Loser Asia.” Former NBC Universal VP of channels, David Gunson serves as AllRites chief content officer.

“For content creators, whether they are a big film studio or an independent producer, the AllRites Marketplace provides a platform to find authenticated buyers. For content buyers, the platform provides a global catalogue, allowing them to search for content, find instant content rights availabilities and make offers for content rights all online,” the company said. Listing content on the platform is free of charge, and it is free to use for buyers. A fee is charged to sellers for completed transactions.

“My experience as a producer showed me that appointing a (conventional) distributor does not mean success. Rights get locked up for a long time, there is no minimum guarantee, long negotiating periods and fees of 30-40%. One time I had a distributor go bust,” Mehta told Variety. “My objective with AllRites Marketplace is to de-risk the monetization of content.”

With no listing fees, non-exclusive terms and low overheads, the online marketplace offers independent content owners no downside, Mehta says. For buyers, the site’s searchability, hosting of trailers and low-res episodes, and its payment gateway accelerate the process from selection to deal completion.

“We are not taking away existing relationships,” Mehta said. “But just because a show has been sold in 100 territories, doesn’t mean that there aren’t another 80 remaining.” Content owners which have listed product to date include IMG, Mediacorp Singapore, Silver Wolf International, MNC Indonesia, and New Films International. It reports signing deal memos with a further 50 companies at the recent Miptv market.

Riaz says he understands that the film and TV industries will take time for the online market to take off and be used for more than re-syndication of library content.

Further developments he would like to introduce include: other genres such as formats and live sports; expansion of the ecosystem into a social media channel; and use of blockchain technology to better manage rights and payments.

To date the company has been backed with seed capital form Singapore and Vietnam. In the coming months, Mehta aims to go to the private capital markets for series A funding.

“Asia is one of the fastest growing markets in the world. Its diversity offers opportunity to the hundreds of independent companies trading in Asian content,” said Mehta.

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