Glasgow ‘video on demand’ distributor signs £25million China deal

A Glasgow-based firm which specialises in distributing independent filmmakers’ content through web-based ‘video on demand’ (VOD) channels has signed a £25m trade deal in China.

Distrify Media reportedly becomes the first European VOD provider to sign a distribution deal in China, which will see them deliver its video content online, through mobile apps and Smart TV for ‘Future TV’, the digital arm of state broadcaster China Network Television (CNTV).

As a result, 20 new jobs will be created in Scotland and 10 in China, it was announced during a high-profile trade visit by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon today (MON).

In total, the First Minister announced agreements worth £43million between 10 Scottish companies and Chinese firms at a business showcase in Beijing, creating 70 jobs in Scotland.

She said: “Scotland is well placed to benefit from China’s strategic focus on innovation, with our longstanding expertise in sectors which have been identified as essential for China’s future prosperity.

“Our world class universities and research base and an ever-growing base of innovative Scottish companies across energy, life sciences, technology, financial services and entertainment, fits well with China’s long-term investment plans for these sectors.”

The deal is likely to be regarded as a considerable return to form for the firm’s directors, twins Andy and Stephen Green, whose previous company Distrify Ltd went into administration earlier this year according to a Sunday Herald report.

However, it was reported in June that the new company had raised £646,000 in a fundraising round by Stirling-based investors ESM Investments to help pave the way for international growth. The company also builds on a successful platform having worked with Film4 and the BBC.

The deal – which will see 1.5million hours of programming distributed online – was backed up by support from Scottish Development International and UK Trade & Investment.

Other tech firms benefiting from the trade mission include Edinburgh-headquartered KAL – which provides ‘cashless ATMs’ for the worldwide banking market.

Retail Teller Machines (RTMs) allow customers to withdraw printed vouchers securely from cashpoints, which can be redeemed for cash. The product is designed to allow banks to operate in previously inaccessible areas.

The partnership agreement is with JustTide, the Chinese OEM (original equipment manufacturer) supplier, which will manufacture RTMs for the worldwide market.

Care Visions Ltd – the Scottish-based international healthcare technology company – also announced the opening of its first China office in Beijing, and signed two Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) with Chinese partners, among other beneficiaries from the deals.