Miramax’s new man in London, Joe Patrick, discusses digital strategy.
Miramax has been in rebuilding mode over the last year. As CEO Mike Lang expressed during his MIPCOM keynote earlier this week, the company’s digital push of its library will be key going forward.
Last month the company announced that it will open its first international office in London, headed by industry veteran Joe Patrick. Screen talked to Patrick at MIPCOM to discuss the reasons behind the expansion and how the company will grow its digital offering.
“Since the split with Disney we’ve been building a global distribution team to handle our catalogue in all markets,” says Patrick, who before joining Miramax was executive vice president at MGM Worldwide Television Group overseeing all TV sales in the US, Canada, and Latin America.
“We have 700 incredible movies. They weren’t the focus for Disney. Once we re-establish our relationships around Europe and the Middle East and Africa there are a lot of different platforms we can work with.”
The company recently launched the Miramax eXperience on Facebook, currently in beta, which allows people to buy Miramax titles cheaply via the page.
But it doesn’t stop there. “I think Miramax on demand is a viable business opportunity, too.”
Patrick was upbeat about the digital opportunities afforded by the UK, with the emergence of Netlflix in the territory surely only a matter of time: “There’s lots of movement in the on demand space in the UK. It’s such an exciting time for the content market. We are in talks with LoveFilm and others. We like to have two to three main players in a market. It creates a more dynamic ecosystem. But we’re talking to everybody. We have been in business with the broadcasters via Disney and we have had some great meetings with BBC, Channel 4, Sky and others. Across Europe, the likes of ARD, TF1 and BBC are as important to us as Netflix and Hulu.”
Patrick said interest in Miramax titles at MIPCOM had been “impressive” and that he had just come back from China where he was also taken aback by demand. The team is discussing the possibility of an office in Asia.
And would the company consider acquiring or developing original TV content for its own platform one day, as Netflix has done?
“If you have a relationship with a platform in Germany, say, you can go from licensing to channel development to co-production one day. Will we run one day? Absolutely. But we must walk before we run.”