World Screen: Autentic’s FAST Track - Interview with Mirjam Strasser

World Screen: Autentic’s FAST Track - Interview with Mirjam Strasser

Toward the end of last year, Autentic inked a pact with OneGate Media to launch the new FAST channel Adventure Earth, featuring nature and wildlife documentaries. The high-end documentary and factual producer and distributor is eyeing a range of opportunities in the AVOD space, given its sizable catalog. Mirjam Strasser, head of sales and acquisitions at Autentic, tells TV Real Weekly about how the company is approaching this rapidly developing landscape.

TV REAL: What opportunities are you seeing for licensing your content to AVOD services?
STRASSER: Actually, we see increasing opportunities for AVOD services. We are already cooperating with a number of them for YouTube exploitation and can see a constant and growing revenue stream from there. AVOD is the fastest-growing segment of the TV market right now. Autentic has been active in this market for a while now. Together with our trusted partners, we are increasingly monetizing our IP via AVOD.

TV REAL: How lucrative is this space becoming in terms of tangible revenues?
STRASSER: AVOD represents a significant share of our content distribution revenues. But these revenues have to be seen in context. They are a meaningful add-on to other revenue sources. But they are not yet significant enough to fund original productions. Will AVOD develop the revenue power to pay for creating quality content? That’s the big question.

TV REAL: I understand that managing deliverables with the AVOD services can be time-consuming. Are you finding that to be the case?
STRASSER: You are right. Luckily, we have some partners who manage metadata themselves. But that comes at a cost. That’s why we have also started to develop our own metadata delivery infrastructure. An extra headcount is required. And we need to educate our production partners to ensure that the right deliverables are generated in the production workstream.

TV REAL: Are you seeing AVOD platforms invest in factual originals?
STRASSER: The question is not if but when. We are already looking for the right projects.

TV REAL: What has the emergence of factual AVOD services meant for you as you craft windowing strategies?
STRASSER: We can see that more and more linear partners seek exclusive AVOD rights for themselves or they require holdbacks against AVOD. This, too, confirms the success of these channels. AVOD services are increasingly competing with linear cable and satellite channels. Windowing strategies are a regular topic in all sales conversations these days.

TV REAL: Are there types of shows best suited to a lean-back AVOD experience?
STRASSER: Blue-chip wildlife, as one-offs or series, and male-oriented series—on tough jobs, construction—content that can be stripped where viewers know exactly what to expect next.
TV REAL: What opportunities do you see to create FAST channels from within your substantial library?
STRASSER: We are preparing the launch of several FAST channels, which are based on our own IP. Some of them we will launch in collaboration with other IP-owning partners.

By Mansha Daswani

You can also read the interview here.