RadioandMusic
| 15 Dec 2019
Rightster is very positive about the APAC market

Cloud-based video distribution services company, Rightster Group, recently announced that it has entered into two different deals with consumer goods group- Procter & Gamble Co. In the past, Rightster has partnered with Vicks India and P&G France. Recently, the company also partnered with Spotify to provide the music service’s users with short- form video content and signed a deal with Universal Studios to promote the 'Minions' film.

Rightster CEO Patrick Walker spoke to Radioandmusic.com about Asia-Pacific market and the growth in that market.

Excerpts:

Tell us about the Rightster and Spotify partnership?

We were pleased to be part of the announcement that Spotify launched its video platform and that it would be including video content from different markets. We are working with them to source content from their own creators and right-holders. Spotify is a very big platform and is committed to video content. We can see a transition of 25 billion hours of music consumption into video consumption.

How long a deal is this going to be?

I cannot disclose the deal but it is a long-term association. Although Spotify is a global distribution company, this association is for few countries. But this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Will the 20th Century Fox content be made available on Spotify?

The partnership with 20th Century Fox is for trailers and other content from the movie studio. Primarily, it is distributed on YouTube. However, we are amplifying it across various platforms, so if there is an opportunity available on Spotify we will go there as well.

One of the interesting things about working with 20th Century Fox, is that we are working in all 20 markets in which the films are releasing. We are working with creators and influencers to create viral videos around the films. This could be crossed over to Spotify, but most of that is very much focussed on YouTube and other applications like Facebook, Twitter and other social sites.

What are your plans with Snapchat?

It is an amazing platform which captures the essence of the youth and has a mix media enthusiasm. It is interesting that it started off as a messenger service and now, it has become a broadcast platform for brands that are mixing image, text and video. Snapchat is being responsible, smart and bold at the same time. It did not sell itself to any other organisation and take the cash instead; it sided with the idea to grow further. I am excited to see how that develops. I am looking forward to live apps like Meerkat and Periscope which can be integrated in the social graph.

We have not done a Snapchat campaign but we are in conversation for the same. However, we do a lot on Vine, Instagram and Facebook. I am looking forward to do our first one with Snapchat and I am hopeful that would be pretty soon.

Tell me about your partnership with Coconut TV?

Coconut TV is a great partner base in this region. It is testimony to the team based in the Singapore office which has built up a good strong relationship there. We like that they are really focussed on regional programming. We hope that it will expand to new markets as well.

Only few months have passed after you were made the CEO of the company, what has changed and what are your plans for the company? 

I took over as the CEO in February. Obviously, I know the business as I have been in the space for a while. Before Rightster acquired the company, I was with at Base79. So, this is a continuing story for me and it is very exciting. Today, our focus is to become a truly global multi-platform network. Keeping that in mind, I want to keep expanding in Asia Pacific. I believe that it is a massive opportunity to engage and grow with our clients and getting new clients in the market. Keep your eye open for more investment in this market, as each time we get better at what we do. There are lot of opportunities and challenges but we got a great team ready for the future.

How much do you plan to invest in the region?

It is hard to say. We always start with partnerships and once we start to build up our business in the market that is when we invest. There will be a lot more collaboration with MCN, broadcasters and brands. We are looking at opportunities that are more interesting. Down the line, we might even make acquisitions. We are looking at growing organically and we are looking at any opportunities that are coming this way.

Will there be any more funds raised anytime soon?

We have just completed the integration of the companies that we acquired in the last six months. So, we are getting the benefit of all the combined businesses right now. We have to see what will happen down the line. Of course, we have to look at getting the business cash flow to breakeven in 2016. We are not ruling out the possibility of raising money if there are any interesting business opportunities available.

How is working with new team at Rightster? Will there be any new hires as well?

It is great to work with the new team and I have worked with few of them in the past. We are looking at making some big hires. We are looking at good combination of skills in technology, brand, creation and distribution.

How is traction for music-based content?

Music was always a very big category for us. We have a very big network on YouTube for electronic music which is called the EMC (Electronic Music Community). The introduction of the subscription music products for YouTube, has made it somewhat challenging. The dynamic has changed in that area. However, we have lot of traction in that area. Of YouTube, the sky is the limit for music, and it is a leading category for new types of platforms. We want to fully represent music labels and artists like Tiesto, as we are excited about getting our electronic dance music community more broadly distributed in Asia-Pacific.

What is Rightster’s target in terms of growth?

We put out to the market that we are looking at growing 80-100 per cent in year-on-year. A growth from £ 8.7 million in 2014 is pretty huge and we are very excited about it. 

How much are you looking at from Asian market?

We do not necessarily break it down. It is probably the fastest growing region for us both in terms of views and now YouTube is monetising in different markets. Japan is fast growing and there are takers as well in markets like Thailand. The watch time is really phenomenal in Vietnam and Philippines. YouTube in these markets has started to expand just recently, so I believe there is lot of growth to come and many talents will emerge. I am very curious to see what these platforms will do in Asia. China is a different market which has a combination of international brand and a new and emerging one. We can experiment and engage with all of them.

Apart from music, what other kinds of content work in Asia?

Parkour and freerunning content is working really well as it is not language specific. Video bloggers, Comedy and kids content are all doing very well.

Broadcasters and right holders have not taken the time to see the kind of misuse there is for their content. There is a very big growth opportunity there and the rightholders are missing all those views and millions of dollars. It is still very nascent.

What is your target in terms of views?

We have had 1.6 million views in the first quarter, but we do not put out our view targets. Views are important and reflect the growth of the company. We are a publicly listed company and we are aiming to become a solid business. There are a lot of companies who can grow views but at a big loss. They acquire content and relations that will get big views, but they will not be profitable; we are not looking at that. We are looking at good collaborative mutual beneficial relationships with creators and writers. There are lot of MCNs who do it but we are not one of them.

How many artistes do you plan to sign?

We will sign as many artistes as possible. We can support a lot of new partners who will help all the partners grow. We are looking at working with as many new partners as possible in the Asia Pacific market.