A brand-new content production and distribution agency has emerged in the marketplace: SynProNize. The company aims to partner with top digital platforms and linear broadcasters in AsiaPac, Africa and the Middle East to both produce new content as well as deliver premium drama and lifestyle programming. Its name is derived from the core business focuses: to syndicate, produce and monetize.
SynProNize was co-founded by industry alums Nitin Michael and Hasnaa Descuns, who both have entrepreneurial spirits and shared a desire to find a new way of approaching the content business. “Prior to launching SynProNize, I had been in the content-licensing business for more than a decade, and Hasnaa has also been in the business for several years; we were colleagues at Zee Entertainment,” Michael explains. “While working in the Middle East and Africa, we realized that there were many channels and platforms that required competent resources, or partners, to help them efficiently acquire or produce content and subsequently monetize it in a strategic way to ensure maximum returns. This need was not only limited to Indian content but also for content from multiple geographies and genres. Additionally, there was a strong desire among local content creators for their content to travel across to other markets besides those in which they were originally created. Having spent a significant amount of time in our careers helping with the monetization of content, we felt that there was a need for a professional agency that could help potential partners—such as content producers/owners—make the most from their content. We also feel that there was room for SynProNize to facilitate a mutually beneficial relationship between individuals or companies looking to invest in content as well as content creators and producers who are looking at getting their cash flows financed.”
Syndication is the company’s initial focus, Descuns explains. “We are looking at licensing content from the Middle East, Turkey and South Asia. We will also exclusively represent large content portfolios from these geographies in Africa, the Middle East and AsiaPac. Having said that, we are very open to representing content from other markets as well.”
In terms of genres, the company is already working across multiple categories, from dramas to movies, animation to lifestyle-based content. SynProNize has already entered into licensing agreements for dramas from the Middle East, India and Pakistan to be broadcast on pay- and free-TV channels in Africa. It has licensed a significant volume of animated content in Africa as well. Alongside these deals, the company exclusively represents Kappela, a popular South Indian romantic thriller. “We have already been distributing this movie across multiple platforms and are thrilled that it is currently being streamed on Netflix as well,” Descuns says.
In addition to its current slate of drama content, which boasts over 500 hours, SynProNize is in talks with animation and lifestyle content providers for representation deals “that would add further depth to our catalog,” Michael adds. “We are also working on certain production-based deals that should see us increasing our slate of drama content by another 250-plus hours.”
Both Michael and Descuns carry with them to SynProNize a wealth of experience in the international TV business that has helped to shape their view of the marketplace and will serve them well in this new venture. “Hasnaa brings to SynProNize solid sales and customer service-based experiences, which she gained from her stints in the retail and media sectors in France, the Middle East and Africa,” Michael explains. “I, on the other hand, have been in the media industry almost my entire career, where I took up various roles doing channel distribution, content syndication and content production. I’ve lived and worked across multiple geographies in Southeast Asia, India, Africa and the Middle East. Our experiences, and the strong relationships that we have created along the way, have certainly given us a head start in terms of acquiring new business. Many of our potential partners have interacted with us in the past and, while they may not have had a direct opportunity to work with us, they are well aware of our reputation, level of professionalism and value that we can add to their businesses. Markets like Africa and the Middle East are of particular interest to many content owners; however, they don’t always possess the necessary resources or market intel to penetrate these territories. This is where working with SynProNize becomes a beneficial partnership for them.”
Michael acknowledges that in this unprecedented time of COVID-19, and especially as a new company, there are challenges that lie ahead. “However, we are fortunate to have strong industry support and a solid, premium portfolio at the start and are quite optimistic about our success. As a new company, we can be very adaptable to incorporating new ways of doing business and look forward to making SynProNize a name around the globe.”
See SynProNize’s Summer 2020 Showcase here.