but there are only a few successful ways to get out
The Absolutely True Stories
of Indie STORY-TELLING & STORY-SELLING
A series of conversational articles and brief essays on
The Art & Science of the Entertainment Media Business
Written by Stephen J. Kerr & Sarah Nean Bruce
We wrote this piece for entertainment professionals who own a film and/or television content distribution business, because they know what challenges impact their businesses. Challenges like lower revenue from foreign sales; disintermediation due to self- distribution; rising acquisition costs for quality productions; the need to invest earlier in films in order to lock up distribution rights; increased risk from foreign competitors, and more. It has never been easy to be in the film distribution business, but lately the hurdles seem to be growing, and a clear path forward more challenging.
Being a film distributor has its rewards: lunch on the Cours Masséna in Cannes with actors, auteurs, and producers; red carpet photos with beautiful people at Sundance and Tribeca Film Festivals; pitching film buyers in Santa Monica, Berlin and Hong Kong. That’s the fun part.
In the 1990’s our firm advised many book publishers and music labels on how to sell their businesses – many heeded our advice and walked away with millions of dollars. Others held on to the “bitter end” and got little or nothing for their companies and titles. In the 2000’s, we helped several home video entrepreneurs cash-in on the equity they had built up in their companies. Today, we are witnessing many of the same warning signs that indicate that film distribution, as a business, is reaching its twilight years.
Once merged, the now one, stronger company may become an attractive acquisition target for a large publicly held company or private equity group.
There appears to be a glass ceiling for film distributors at the $4 to $6 million level. It is difficult for a company that reaches this revenue peak to get much bigger simply by working harder without the infusion of fresh capital to pay minimum guarantees, executive produce their own movies, and/or negotiate “put” deals with the big digital players like Netflix, Amazon or HBO.
Another way to build value is to sell off non-performing assets (titles) that weigh catalogs down, but don’t generate much value for the company. A third, value-building move is to negotiate an exclusive “put” deal with any major OTT or cable channel. Exclusivity, of practically any kind, can create a higher perceived value of that distributor. Of course, there are many more ways to help enhance a distribution company’s value. These are just a few where we have guided companies.
If you would like to discuss ways that Bel Âge Médias can help your company To Exit or Not to Exit, please give us a call.
Our firm, Bel Âge Médias (B.Â.M.}, is a company specializing in developing film, television, and other media properties, as well as providing business development, branding guidance, and investment banking services. Additionally, under our ongoing 4K / Ultra HD initiative, we continue pursuing strategic alignments with high-end, entertainment technology providers, and explore low-cost alternatives for theatrical, televised, and online distribution of 4K (and 2K) films and television programs globally.
Bel Âge Médias • Santa Monica, California
Call Us or Visit Us Online or Email Us:
+1 310 666-6474
http://BelAgeMedias.com • firstname.lastname@example.org • belagemedias@ME.com
1 - ARE THERE STILL TOO MANY FILM/TV DISTRIBUTORS? | BMC Online – 03/06/2017 by Stephen J. Kerr
2 - BUY SELL MERGE OR VALUE A FILM DISTRIBUTOR | BMC Online – 06/06/2017 by Stephen J. Kerr
3 - VALUING A SINGLE FILM OR ENTIRE FILM LIBRARY (Updated) | BMC Online – 04/04/2017 by Stephen J. Kerr
4 - WHAT IS YOUR 4K / UHD STRATEGY? | BMC Online – 01/05/2017 by Stephen J. Kerr
IMAGE_ToExit-NotToExit-Vortex.png by Bel Âge Médias
PHOTO_Sarah&Stephen 2.png via Bel Âge Médias
Simultaneously Published at:
LinkedIn-Stephen J. Kerr – https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/exit-strategies-film-distributors-stephen-kerr/