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in Filmmaking
on Oct 22, 2009

I met with an online distributor a few months ago who told me about GMX, the Global Media Exchange, saying he thought it was going to revolutionize the film sales business. In short, he described it as an eBay for media content, where film buyers (broadcasters, distributors, etc.) can connect and transact with sellers (studios, production companies, independent producers) within a sophisticated interface set up to deal with the complicated terms of international film licensing agreements.

GMX recently launched with over 4,000 titles from such companies as “NBC Universal Global Networks France, London-based ContentFilm’s Fireworks International, U.K.-based On Demand Group, Paris-based Carrere Group, alongside Lifetime TV, Disney Channel, Broadway Video Entertainment, Image Entertainment and The Food Network.”

Over at his Biracy Project blog, David Geertz says he’s been given an online tour of the site:

As a producer I was able to research the buyers online and make direct contact with the acquisitions manager. This is great as everyone knows that this could eliminate the costly trips that are required 3-5 times a year to attend markets. If all of the buyers can now log in and be purchasing directly this will reduce costs to the producer and leave more money in the pockets of film investors that are finding it tough to write checks to indies.

GMX essentially provides you with all the tools and for this they will charge a fee. I believe the fee is somewhere around 7-9% and is based on a sliding scale. This is also great as it will allow producers to represent themselves and remove the costly sales agent, sub distributor, or aggregator.

From the tour I was given, I was told the project is still in BETA but the plan is to also implement an online transaction process.

The distributor I spoke with felt that GMX could be a real boon for producers of smaller-scale films, who might now be able to cost-effectively market their films to international buyers and meaningfully aggregate a string of smaller scales. (He also felt that GMX was a real threat to specialty film sales agents.)

What makes people so sure that GMX is a game-changing competitor? The short answer: John Malone and Ascent Media. GMX is owned by Ascent, owned in turn by Malone’s Discovery Holding. Ascent owns numerous post-production facilities and has the infrastructure to move high-quality video content across the globe.

I suspect you’ll be hearing a lot more about GMX in the coming months.

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