In 1995, just two years after the RDF Media Group was founded, RDF Rights was formed in order to look after the licensing for the company’s television content.
RDF Media Group creates, acquires and distributes content and is one of the UK’s largest independent television producers and distributors, so there is plenty for RDFR to work with…
Whether it’s pre-school properties, like Waybuloo and Yo Gabba Gabba or Gok Wan in How to Look Good Naked, the firm has secured deals across the board for each of its properties with companies like Fisher-Price, Vivid Imaginations and Martin Yaffe on board for toys and games, Kinnerton for confectionery, Creativity International for arts and crafts, Character World for bedding and 2Entertain for Home Entertainment… the list goes on.
The portfolio is also growing as Stephen Gould, senior consultant for consumer products, explains: “To date, we have centred our focus on the pre-school genre, however, our aim is to offer a solution to retail with a broad spectrum brand base portfolio.
“Whilst we have already signed new pre-school properties, we are also moving into markets that target boys aged six to 11 years, girls aged five to seven years and even teen and gift sectors.”
RDFR’s catalogue currently encompasses more than 4,500 hours of programming in the popular factual, factual entertainment, entertainment, documentary, drama and kids’ genres and over the past ten years, has achieved double digit growth.
Most recently, it launched its Kids and Family division, which carries a full merchandising and licensing division. The firm was set up two years ago in order to take its parent company into children’s and family programming and has since seen the successful launch of all of its brands on TV.
RDFR’s 50 staff work across seven offices in the US and the UK and have contributed to a strong year in 2008. Gould explains: “The last year has been very good with rapid growth. The Kids’s division is now entering its second full year with a portfolio of high quality brands targeting a variety of audiences. These include successful returning series such as Mister Maker, Big Barn Farm and Yo Gabba Gabba.”
He continues: “The head count has also increased commensurate with the expanding and diversifying business and we successfully completed an MBO back in February.”
So far this year, the firm has launched the major new pre-school brand for the BBC in the UK, Waybuloo as well as the international launch for the same in MIP in Cannes and the upcoming Licensing International show in Las Vegas.
Gould comments: “We will continue to develop, produce, distribute and licence high quality programming covering all genres for a global audience and worldwide appeal.”
Expect to see much of the same high quality and high profile programming over the coming year, possibly targeting a wider audience in the future.
When asked what he would love to work with, Gould concludes: “We’d like one or two older skewing properties, so Ben 10 would be lovely as would a studio relationship with the likes of Lucas Film, which has a superb back catalogue.
“Within pre-school, we have a healthy affinity for Peppa Pig, which has taken short and punchy 2D animation to a new and successful level. In terms of expanding the brand potential, it would have to be Hello Kitty.
“And if we ever moved into the corporate brand sector, it would be led by Guinness and Harley-Davidson, whose ‘lifestyle’ brand qualities are probably unequivocal at present.”