Recently the Australian distribution company Looking Glass International changed its name into LGI Media with the goal of expand its business model. “The reason of our rebranded is because I wanna modernize,” explained Nha-Uyen Chau, Founder and CEO at LGI Media. “Looking Glass was 14 years old and it was too long to write and on the other hand, we are expanding our business now to become more of a content company rather than just a distribution company so we are moving into the development and production game,” completed.
LGI Media is a boutique distribution company specialized in high-end factual and documentary programs. “I wanted to focus on this genre because I love factual, I think real life stories are so important,” asserted Chau. “There are great characters out there that we still have to explore”, added.
LGI Media offers content out of the ordinary. “That is what we want to be for our broadcast and producers clients," affirmed the executive. Between its highlight shows is “Spiky Gold Hunters” (6x60’) produced by Pango Productions. The series reveals one of New Zealand’s most dangerous jobs and gets a unique insight into the sub-culture of sea urchin fishermen. “We pre sold the title to A+E and we placed in a new channel in UK, in Australia it was commisioned by TVMZ and we also sold it to The History Channel in Iberia,” detailed Chau.
Other great title of the company is the science series called “Cosmic Futurist” (6x60’) produced by Fusion Productions. The series takes a journey into the future with NASA Chief Engineer and Futurist, Jon Cowart as he explains the science behind the technological and experimental advances NASA is currently working on.
LGI Media also offers a true crime called “Irish Gangsters” (1x60’) produced by Revelation Films and commisioned by Virgin Media in the UK. Bernard O’Mahoney returns to his home country to shine a light on the Irish underworld and with exclusive access to high-profile Irish ‘faces’, he enters unchartered territory when he discovers that there may be more to these crimes than meets the eye.
HOW TO GET MODERN
“LGI will come up with develpment ideas of factual programs that we wanna produce and then, we will partner with producers from around the world that we have a great relatioship with in order to coproduce with them and LGI will take to the market”, explained the Founder and CEO of the company.
In a way, LGI Media will become a producer but they don’t have a production arm yet but it will be on a creative level and an executive level. “We also find finacing as well for those projects. It’s really exciting for us and is why we wanted to become a content company."
Chau thinks that the distribution landscape changed a lot due of a huge shift in the broadcast industry. “The linear broadcasters now have reduced budgets and the producers only get 60% of the finance of their projects, so they are looking though a distribution model where deficit financing from the distributor is very important or where the distributor takes on the rol of the commisioner”, said. “For example in ‘Spiky Gold Hunters’, we did deficit finance in the project but also take on some executive producing services as well so I think the game has changed a lot and it’s really to do with the launch of digital and OTT”, she completed.
The executive also opined that the current landscape is really threatening the traditional broadcast model as we know it, but at the same time it creates new opportunities for programs to work with Amazon and Netflix. “It's enables the distributor to be more creative and all it’s a matter of finding the right content that is going to go to as many broadcasters and as many platforms as possible”, aserted.
LGI Media is looking for its own IP now. “That is why as developing our own projects and then coproducing them with producers, LGI will have stake in the IP and we can use the insight that we get from our broadcasters clients in terms that what they are looking for and develop all projects to these specifications because we know that we will be able to then go to those producers and broadcasters to sell those programs. Our expansion really is in our content business at this stage”, affirmed Chau.
Regarding the new territories, Chau expressed great interest in South America but she explained that they din’t reach the terrotory yet because of the language. “We’ve been to Natpe Miami so many times and it’s not been sucessfull because it’s hard if you don’t speak Spanish”, said. "We have to go with the right sales person who can speak Spanish because in some territories the language is so important. There are opportunities there but I think is a matter of finding the right team in order to get on that territory,” concluded.
By Romina Rodríguez