Hughes will spearhead opening Vuulr’s first U.S. office, in Los Angeles, and building a local team focused on serving Hollywood and content owners and creators across North and Latin America.
The executive was with Lionsgate for some nine years and his most recent role was EVP, worldwide digital distribution, responsible for building and operating the company’s digital distribution efforts. Prior to this, he was responsible for worldwide digital media at MGM.
Hughes has had previous stints in Scripps, Media General, Cosmos Broadcasting, and Diversified Communications.
“This is a match made in heaven. Having worked inside the four walls of two Hollywood studios during the past 12-plus years, I’ve experienced first-hand the friction surrounding content transactions of all shapes and sizes,” said Hughes.
“Vuulr solves huge pain-points for the industry. From the buy-side on Vuulr, acquisition teams are sourcing and acquiring content, globally, faster and easier than ever before. Plus content owners are monetizing catalogs with no up-front fees, which is a unique proposition. I passionately believe Vuulr offers unmatched efficiency and value surrounding content distribution.”
“Thomas is an incredibly experienced and dynamic executive with a rare combination of knowledge from both the buyers’ and sellers’ perspectives,” said McKee. “His experience while with Lionsgate launching SVOD and AVOD services, along with many years of running digital sales, marketing, and content operations globally, position him uniquely to help Vuulr grow in the U.S. and beyond.”
Vuulr was launched in January 2019 as an Asian entity and expanded internationally in January 2020. It currently lists more than 130,000 hours of finished content; 4,500 registered, vetted and approved buyers; and has generated over 1,200 licensing transactions in its first year.
The platform is free to use for buyers and for distributors to list their catalogues. The company earns its revenue in the form of commission fees paid by the seller after a successful transaction.
Vuulr features film and TV content from producers and distributors including Sony, Legendary Television, Gaumont, Televisa, Viacom 18, CNN and Caracol. Buyers on Vuulr include The Walt Disney Company, Viacom International Media Networks, BBC, UKTV, Turner International Apac, Nordic Entertainment, and MediaCorpZee.