Nicely Entertainment is focused on remaining as a boutique producer and distributor of feel-good TV movies while exploring alternative genres and looking into expansion in the VOD arena. Scott Kirkpatrick, EVP, Distribution & Co-Productions at the company, spoke with Señal News to describe its strategy.
How do you analyze the growth potential for the feel-good movie genre?
"Feel-good TV movies have been a strong content vertical for decades. I don't see that changing anytime soon because audiences consistently seek out feel-good content. As a company, we produce 20 to 25 original films each year in the feel-good TV movie space. We work closely with our clients and truly listen to what audiences resonate with (via ratings, social media comments, etc.). It is not just a US genre of focus either; feel-good content resonates globally. As a company, building on 'inspirational,' 'cozy,' and 'feel-good' has been good for us and is certainly something we'll continue to expand on. Two of our latest Romance movies, 'One Perfect Match' and 'Romance at the Vineyard,' are perfect examples of our continued expansion into this space.”
What specific demands does this genre satisfy around global buyers?
"We focus on female-driven cozy/feel-good TV movies. Although our Christmas films perform better in some regions of the world than others, our evergreen romance of feel-good stories sell very well globally. A film like "A Royal in Paradise," broadcasted in the United States early in 2023, has been streamed and aired by partners worldwide. The story is quite standard in the genre, with a fresh take, of course, but the imagery, escapism, love story, and splash of fantasy make for a fun and universally sought-after story. Great stories transcend borders."
Nicely has acquired global rights to AMC's "Lace." What is the international potential of this title?
"There is always a home for TV series. Whether as finished tape or as format opportunities, managing the IP of a major US broadcaster's property holds weight internationally. Although "Lace" is edgier than other Nicely Entertainment content, it still focuses on strong female characters and showcases that, as a company, we're open to pushing the envelope and exploring new content verticals. Also, from a business perspective, we're actively seeking to expand and diversify our portfolio. We have three Nicely original series in our catalog ('Dive Club' and 'Gymnastics Academy' for Netflix and 'The Christmas Checklist' for Canada's CBC). 'Lace' is our fourth-managed TV property, and we aim to land this series with various territories and potentially open the door to format opportunities."
The company also co-produced "A Christmas Frequency" with Dawn's Light Media. How would you describe this experience?
"It was a fantastic experience, and we're working on a few other projects. But what's very important to note about 'A Christmas Frequency' is its featured talent, Denise Richards, who played a leading role. Elevating talent has been a strategic growth goal for Nicely since the beginning, and we're now making that happen. Denise was fantastic to work with, and she's great in the film. We also have Ashlee Simpson playing a leading role in another Nicely film that'll premiere this Christmas season for a client we're excited to be working with. 'A Christmas Frequency' will be premiering on Hulu on November 1st in the United States and will also be available for transactional on Apple, Google Play, and Vudu. We've also closed various international deals, including Foxtel in Australia. Mainstream talent and a pivot toward more elevated content are two things the market can expect from Nicely moving forward."
What business models would you like to explore at Mipcom and develop in the short and mid-term?
"We're not reinventing the wheel. We enjoy working in the cozy, feel-good TV movie space, and it will continue to be our focus. Our strategic aim is to elevate our content offerings by adding star power. Moving forward, we'll continue that pattern. Also, to continue our growth, we are opening up to alternative genres outside of romance and Christmas romance, as evidenced by our disaster/adventure film 'Super Cyclone' and our mystery film 'The Abigail Mysteries.' The core focus on Nicely Entertainment as a brand will remain boutique, feel-good TV movies even if we choose to dabble in alternative genres. The expansion into VOD is also crucial for us. We're taking on much more direct management over our VOD rights to maximize revenues. It's a huge growth sector, especially ad-supported forms of VOD in Latin America and Europe. These are our short-term and long-term targets."
By Diego Alfagemez