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GroupM launches new content group

Global ad giant GroupM is launching an international content investment and rights management company to fund, develop, produce and distribute premium content.

Richard Foster

Motion Content Group will invest in and partner with talent, producers and distributors on projects and will use GroupM and parent WPP’s network of relationships and content expertise “for scale and competitive advantage.”

The company will also support WPP’s strategic investments in content, which have included Imagine Entertainment, The Weinstein Company, Media Rights Capital and MediaPro.

Richard Foster, head of GroupM Entertainment, has been appointed CEO of Motion Content Group, which will be headquartered in London and LA.

Motion will incorporate GroupM Entertainment’s team and resources, as well as the full slate of programmes it has partnered to develop and produce.

GroupM Entertainment has become an active player in TV markets over the past 12 months, with programming distributed into markets around the world through partnerships with over 100 producers and more than 20 distribution companies.

Its programming projects include docuseries Prison – First and Last 24 Hours for European satcaster Sky, a Thai version of US format Lip Sync Battle and a local version of Robot Wars in Asia.

The company also recently hired Simon Jones, the former CEO of Talpa Media USA, to head its content and rights business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, as revealed by C21.

GroupM said Motion would invest its own funds into content deals and partnerships to remain “a separate but complementary offering” to the branded content work undertaken by GroupM’s agencies for clients.

Martin Sorrell

It added that Motion’s “global reach, investments and partnerships will help support the editorial ambitions and commercial requirements of producers, networks and platforms, in order to help drive contextually safe, high-quality environments for advertisers.”

Martin Sorrell, CEO at WPP, said the growth of streamers such as Netflix and Amazon meant “the competition for premium content is heating up across the globe,” adding: “WPP is investing in Motion Content Group to strengthen our content creation and distribution capabilities, to help meet evolving viewer needs, and to help advertisers continue to reach consumers in high-quality content environments.”

Kelly Clark, GroupM CEO, said: “We have always used our global scale and reach to find innovative approaches that strengthen the media ecosystem for advertisers and media partners alike. Motion is a major commitment by GroupM to expand on these efforts.”

Foster said Motion’s objective would be “to help create and support editorially and commercially vibrant premium content for the benefit of our content partners and advertisers.

“We will achieve this by continuing to invest into the content industry and lead the development of new models, commercial content structures and partnerships with media networks, platforms, talent, producers and distributors.”

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