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The modern world dictates new conditions for content distribution

Vadim Bondarev, commercial director of the company "Prologue", about the possibilities of licensed marketplaces for content distribution in an interview with a journalist of the portal "Thoughts About..." Maxim Russkikh.

Vadim Bondarev

From the idea to the implementation of the Rightscreen licensed marketplace, the struggle for the trademark, opportunities and plans for the development of the system.


M.R.: – Tell us how the idea of the marketplace was born?

V.B.: The idea of a licensed marketplace arose about 5 years ago, and all this time we have been working on its implementation: preparing the technological base, conducting custdev of the market. The very idea of how the marketplace was supposed to work also had to "beat" about the realities of business. Even 5 years ago, the market was not ready for the emergence of a digital platform for buying and selling audiovisual content. But the modern world dictates new conditions, business is actively moving online, and our task was to help him make it seamless.

Most often we heard the request "we want to track the chains of rights to licensed content", "check the content for legitimacy". The market needed a common system, a "single window", where licensed content is easy to find, check, sell and buy, expand coverage, find new partners, and, if desired, also clean up transactions, calculate finances, automate accounting, predict sales, etc.

9 years ago, the ERP system for accounting for Media Rights Revolution appeared, and in 2021, the Rightscreen licensed marketplace was built on its basis. The system solves the tasks of searching, buying, selling content, tracking its use, calculating payout shares, and providing reports in real time, uniting rights holders, distributors and licensees on a single platform, regardless of location, language and tasks: whether it is filling the broadcast broadcast grid, buying rights to music, words, characters, TV series, movie, animation, etc.

rightscreen overview

M.R.: – How was the name Rightscreen born and what is it about for you?

V.B.: In agony (laughs). This happened in late May-early June 2021. The marketplace originally had the working name "Mediadata". But when we applied to the patent office, it turned out that this name was occupied. Then we checked the Rightscreen trademark, it turned out to be free and already fully reflected the essence of the future licensed marketplace. So on June 7, 2021, we bought the domains and and they began to conduct an active campaign with this trademark, even managed to participate in the competition of innovative Media Gate projects.

Unfortunately, everything turned out to be not so simple, today we are fighting for this trademark (note: another company is fighting for this trade name), but we are not giving up.

M.R.: – Who will be interested in the platform?

V.B.: The platform is primarily of interest to rights holders and content distributors. It is important for them to reach buyers, to enter new markets where they may not be physically able to reach, and the marketplace is the key that will open the doors to new opportunities for them. Yes, there are rights holders whose content does not need advertising, and is sold out long before release. However, for lesser–known authors, copyright holders, this is a great opportunity to make themselves known to the whole world on an online platform. In addition, in the endlessly changing vuka-world, which throws us new obstacles in the form of the cancellation of forums and film festivals and the inability to establish direct contacts between copyright holders and buyers, it is important to have such a tool that will allow the business to stay afloat and even grow: to license both fresh releases and catalog content, open new markets, effectively fill an ethereal grid with interesting titles, etc. without spending money on intermediaries.

M.R.: – What about the tariffs?

V.B.: There is a subscription model in Rightscreen. No interest for the transaction, everything is absolutely transparent. For $100 per month, the rights holder gets not just access to a marketplace where bikers from different parts of the world are present, but also to a powerful built-in back office for contract management and automated financial calculation. We have also provided advertising tools to promote content within the marketplace.

For bikers, access to the licensed marketplace is free, you only need authorization.

M.R.: – What are your plans for the development of Rightscreen? What will the platform be able to do in 5 years?

V.B.: In the next 5 years, we will focus on improving the platform for users. Also, a separate direction will be the creation of an adviser based on artificial intelligence. The neural network will be able to make recommendations on cost, predict popularity, or select similar licensed content based on input parameters. And of course we will expand the user base so that participants from all over the world can use the marketplace.

M.R.: – Is there something that you would like to improve or something that requires changes most of all?

V.B.: The platform is ready and is being tested by our users, but there is always something that needs to be improved. Over the past few years, we have been building a complex mathematical model that will automatically compare rights between different standards and jurisdictions, for example, the IFTA (Independent Film and Television Alliance) in the Civil Code of the Russian Federation (Civil Code of the Russian Federation).

The system is already available to the mass market, so if you are a rights holder, distributor or buyer, you can already join us to evaluate its capabilities for your business.

M.R.: – Which market are you entering first?

V.B.: The Russian market needs to be sold abroad, and the foreign market needs to be brought to Russia. We spend a lot of effort to attract foreign rights holders and do not exclude that Russian companies and government agencies that are engaged in bringing Russian cinema to the foreign market will pay attention to our platform.

M.R.: – Who has already become a client?

V.B.: ABC, Vision Films, Russian Film Group, Soyuzmultfilm, etc.. We are also at the stage of concluding an agreement with several major Russian companies, whom we cannot name yet.

M.R.: – How do you find customers or do they find you?

V.B.: The very first users of the Rightscreen showcase were companies that have already implemented the MediaRights Revolution rights accounting system. The Rightscreen marketplace became available to them by default as an add-on to the rights accounting system.

We attract new partners with the good old direct marketing, as the market values personal communication. We also negotiate with Russian and foreign buyers, participate in specialized forums and conferences. In December, we conducted a small PR campaign, 50 key market players received New Year's gifts with the symbols of the marketplace.

M.R.: – What is the most important thing that users need to know when working with the Rightscreen marketplace?

V.B.: Rightscreen is a marketplace for buying and selling licensed content. It can be compared to a large market, where sellers and buyers from all over the world are represented. Here, any copyright holder becomes guaranteed to be visible to all its participants, if desired, of course (note: you can create public or personalized storefronts).

This strategy is interesting both for beginners who are just bringing content to a new market, and for old–timers for whom the marketplace is another way to assert themselves, to hold the position of market leader. If it is important to "hold" the content, you can create closed personalized storefronts and make personal offers to selected users.

But the most important thing is the built–in back office, which is able to fully automate the work in terms of conducting license transactions and financial calculations of any complexity. This is how to find content, check its legitimacy, be able to show protected previews to the buyer, receive timely reminders about expiring rights, receive reports on the availability and use of rights in one click to avoid double purchases, count deductions, manage business processes now with the help of a single service, saving employees time and company money.

M.R.: – Do you have competitors in the Russian or foreign market?

V.B.: There are no companies making a product of this class on the Russian market. There are several showcase marketplaces on the foreign market, for example, Vuulr. The problem is that in these systems, license transactions are not recorded anywhere and do not affect the rights availability. In addition, our business models differ significantly. Foreign marketplaces receive a percentage of the transaction, which the copyright holders do not really like.

M.R.: – Can we say that the Russian solution is unique?

VB: Yes, that's right.

It is thanks to the built-in backup that the Rightscreen licensing marketplace has serious functionality. The system is flexibly configurable and easily configured for any type of company: rights holder, distributor or licensee in both the music and film industries.

We hope that in 2022 users will appreciate the functionality and benefits of the platform for the growth and development of their companies.

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