If you think that the value of
your movie and documentary film library
remains the same year to year,
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 had a conversation the other day with a prospective new client about the value of a motion picture library that they were looking to acquire – and the comparative value of the company that owns those films. That conversation reminded us how outmoded the thinking is for many entertainment professionals who see the value of their film assets as unchanging.
Even a great motion picture, or documentary, that has been heavily sold around the world under long-term contracts, can have very little future economic value – just a few years after it was released.
If you sell a motion picture to Netflix or HBO under an exclusive, world-wide, 7-year distribution deal, you might like the initial pay day, but the value of the asset could be diminished because the distributor (or producer) loses the right to then sell the film elsewhere. Increasingly, the big OTT channels - like Netflix and Amazon - are demanding world-wide, long-term contracts to acquire films and series. If you are getting top dollar from these broadcasters then by all means make the deal, but remember what you are losing – long-term income from incremental sales. It’s a trade off that you need to consider.
Back in the day of disks and video stores, it was easier to continue selling film assets into an ever-expanding, global marketplace (piracy issues aside). But today the free market for movies and documentaries has narrowed, with only a few global players dominating the digital channels of distribution. Many film distributors we know are beginning to question why they are even attending the global sales markets. With fewer international rights to sell, and low prices being paid for their legacy film assets, the costs of attending film markets may not be justified by the revenue generated.
If all the income has been drained out of an asset upon its original release to the marketplace, don’t expect that asset to spontaneously manufacture value simply due to its existence.
Examples of asset value changes: you might have a film that featured Chris Pratt or Emilia Clark when they were still unknowns, and another with Mel Gibson or Kevin Spacy when they were well-knowns. The value of every motion picture is dynamic and changes every year based on market forces, and the value of the underlying movie stars, directors, and producers (think Harvey Weinstein). New markets (like China) are opening to English-language films that have previously been closed, and that can create new revenue from older IP, resulting in a higher asset valuation.
Each production needs to be assayed for its commercial value and compared to other films of a similar quality, age and marketability. Only then can intellectual properties be accurately appraised.
If you are curious as to the current value of a library, or individual film, please contact us.
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. Our company owns screen rights to a number of motion pictures and limited TV series – both live action and animated. Our diverse entertainment experience ranges from Studio films to Indie films, cable television movies and pilot presentations to new media, digital internet / web video series, and even modernized, transmedia-laden, supernatural Shakespeare adaptations.
Bel Âge Médias • Santa Monica, California
Call Us - or Visit Us Online - or Email Us:
+1 310 666-6474
Stephen(@)BelAgeMedias.com • Sarah(@)BelAgeMedias.com
1 – So What Exactly Are Film Libraries Worth Now? by Nikki Finke - https://deadline.com/2010/02/what-exactly-are-film-libraries-worth-now-25222/ | DEADLINE - February 11, 2010.
2 – Film Library Acquisitions - Valuation and Strategy by Pras Chaudhuri - http://prasenjitchaudhuri.blogspot.com/2010/09/film-library-acquisitions-valuation-and.html |OBSERVING ANALYTICS-DRIVEN TRANSFORMATIONS - September 29, 2010
3 – Valuing a Single Film or Entire Film Library By Stephen J. Kerr - http://www.bizmark.net/blogs/valuing-a-single-film-or-entire-film-library-updated |BMC Online - May 17, 2016
4 – How Much Are Films Worth? By Stephen J. Kerr - http://www.bizmark.net/blogs/how-much-are-films-worth | BMC Online - April 4, 2017
WIKIMEDIA-Film_archive_storage_(6498619601).jpg – By DRs Kulturarvsprojekt from Copenhagen, Danmark (Film archive storage Uploaded by palnatoke) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
PHOTO_Sarah&Stephen.png – by BelÂgeMédias
SIMULTANEOUSLY PUBLISHED AT:
LinkedIn-Stephen J. Kerr – https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/… stephen-kerr/
LinkedIn Sarah Nean Bruce – https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/… sarah-nean-bruce/