Edwina Thring and Roz Parker, industry veterans who worked together at National Geographic Television International, have joined forces to launch ProgramBuyer, a non-transactional, multi-genre aggregation and screening site.
ProgramBuyer.com is designed for global buyers and sellers of TV programming. The service will officially go live during Q3 of 2018. Kew Media, DRG and Mondo TV are among the 55 distributors that have already signed up for the service. The subscription-based service is designed to give distributors an additional avenue to extend their reach to buyers.
ProgramBuyer.com is a free service for buyers and will launch with more than 25,000 hours of content on the site. Ian Jones, former CEO of broadcaster S4C and president of National Geographic Television International, is on board as non-executive director.
Thring commented, “Having worked in international TV distribution for many years, we could see that buying and selling—or perhaps more accurately, promoting and finding content—was getting increasingly complicated, time-consuming and costly for everyone involved. We devised ProgramBuyer as a simple connected solution: buyers will now be able to source content from a single destination and sellers can easily get their entire catalog in front of every type of buyer, ranging from those at traditional linear broadcasters to the rapidly growing number of new entrants seeking content for digital channels, OTT and SVOD platforms.”
Parker added, “ProgramBuyer.com will not be taking anyone’s job; buyers and sellers will still need to talk to do business. Instead, we are offering another channel to support content marketing, in order to generate leads and facilitate introductions. We know from experience how challenging it can be for sales executives to promote new titles, yet still keep older shows front of mind. As well as promoting content launches, ProgramBuyer will be especially advantageous in supporting distributors keen to exploit the long tail opportunities for library content.”
Discovery was part of a panel of content buyers involved with testing ProgramBuyer.com. Myriam Lopez-Otazu, the VP of content, sourcing and acquisitions for EMEA and Asia at Discovery Networks International, said, “ProgramBuyer is a really smart idea, delivered by people who understand the market, and it’s going to make my life much easier when it goes live—especially if I need to quickly fill a gap in the schedule or research content for a theme night. It’s intuitive, contains everything I need to make a decision on a show and I love that it can introduce me to smaller distributors and content that I might not otherwise get to see.”
Jones remarked, “Having been a distributor, producer and broadcaster over the years I could immediately see the benefits of ProgramBuyer.com and I am delighted to support Roz and Edwina in bringing their brainchild to the market. As the industry continues to grow—and fragment—ProgramBuyer has real potential to become a supportive and unifying force, creating an exclusive, industry-wide online community that delivers meaningful value to all those who sign up.”