Motion Content Group, an industrious producer and co-financier of Love Island, Wynonna Earp and some 1,800 other series globally, is rebranding as GroupM Motion Entertainment in North America.
The move comes amid a broader pivot toward premium programming.
Motion Content, already well-established in more than two dozen territories, made a major push into the U.S. several years ago, with CEO Richard Foster relocating from London to LA. Those efforts took shape just before Covid upended the production sector.
GroupM Motion Entertainment will be co-led by Foster, Global CEO GroupM Motion Entertainment, and Kirk McDonald, CEO GroupM North America.
Beginning in 2009 as GroupM Entertainment, the unit initially worked with broadcasters such as Viacom’s Channel 5, then owned by controversial British media baron Richard Desmond, to pay for a range of factual and entertainment titles. Multi-faceted deals were structured by covered advertising and international ancillary arrangements. It then moved into drama, struck overall development deals with a range of producers and also helped third-party formats such as Lip Sync Battle, Masterchef and Got Talent move into certain international markets.
In the new setup, GroupM Motion Entertainment will work closely with content teams from GroupM agencies Mindshare, Wavemaker, and EssenceMediacom to create original brand-funded content and entertainment partnerships, an announcement said. The venture will include the premium content investment capabilities; and the IP production and distribution business of Motion Content Group. The operation has co-produced more than 1,800 television series globally in partnership with the world’s leading producers, talent, networks, and platforms.
GroupM Motion Entertainment will also aim to provide a clear access point for media partners and entertainment creators. Some of the initiatives will include original programming, program funding, and branded entertainment, as well as connecting GroupM clients to talent and creative partners.
“GroupM Motion Entertainment is yet another way we are strengthening and elevating meaningful content connections between consumers and our client partners,” McDonald said. “With increasing competition for consumer attention, purposeful and creative storytelling is now a required ingredient for brands. This offering provides an effective partnership for media and creative to engage intentionally, and at scale.”
“GroupM has a long, successful track record of investing in partnerships with networks and world leading producers to deliver premium entertainment. However, the media landscape continues to evolve rapidly, with the ascent of SVOD, AVOD, FAST channels, social video platforms, and the subsequent change in consumer behavior,” Foster remarked. “These factors bring new challenges and opportunities for funding, development, and monetization of premium entertainment. GroupM Motion Entertainment will work alongside other GroupM agencies, and in partnership with advertisers, producers, networks, and platforms, to develop mutually beneficial content and creative partnerships, to deliver premium entertainment for our partners and clients.”
Peter White contributed to this report.