yes Studios on strategic selling, deal-making and regional vs. global distribution of Israeli IP | Inside Content

yes Studios on strategic selling, deal-making and regional vs. global distribution of Israeli IP | Inside Content


Peyton Lombardo



In the ever-evolving landscape of TV, streaming and content, distribution strategies are always shifting.

On this episode, we are joined bySharon Levi, Managing Director of yes Studios, the distribution and co-production arm of leading streamer and broadcaster yesTV to take a deep dive into Israeli content and how it is distributed globally and locally.

Sharon shares her invaluable insights, gained from her 25+ years of experience in content sales, as we delve into their international distribution strategy, including: harnessingIsraeli IP, selling to local vs. global players, strategies for bringing new content and formats to different regions, deal-making, MIPCOM, AI, and overall challenges faced by distributors in 2023.

The success of Israeli IP

Sharon begins by shedding light on the global sensation Fauda, a show that has had great success on Netflix. This is a testament to the potential of Israeli content in the international market. Sharon explains how niche content from Israel can make it to a global SVOD service, emphasising that the power of Israeli IP in international markets often hinges on the universal themes embedded in the content. For shows like Fauda, it's the themes that resonate worldwide that have led to their distribution success on a global streamer.

Strategies for Different Markets

When it comes to penetrating new markets, priorities can shift. Sometimes, negotiating terms takes precedence when you're entering a new market. Sharon underscores that negotiation strategies must adapt to the specific market, the buyer, and the desired outcomes of the sale. The nuances of each market demand a tailored approach, meaning researching the ins and outs of that market is essential.

“Even in sales when you’re a very organised and ‘excel type’ of person, you need to be creative in dealmaking as well.” - Sharon Levi
Co-production and Partner Selection

yes Studios' co-production strategy is deeply intertwined with the future sale of the content. Selecting the right partners is crucial. Sharon highlights the need to ensure that partners have a strong track record in producing content of a similar nature. Sometimes, choosing atop-notch producer for the content becomes more important than the commercial terms, ensuring a seamless process from concept to sale.

“I think at the end of the day, it's not always about the quantity. Sometimes it's not just about selling to any customer just anywhere. You need to make the right choice.” - Sharon Levi
Global vs. Local Players

The question of whether to distribute content to global or local players depends on the content itself. Sharon explains that content with a universal theme can thrive on a global streaming platform.However, for content with a more niche appeal, local markets may provide better promotion and attention. The strategy for each show must be carefully considered, and sometimes, market-to-market distribution proves to be the best approach.

“I love the challenge of finding the right streamer in each country, or the right broadcaster, or the right outlet in each specific country. And to target that, it's a lot more work and it requires a lot more research” - Sharon Levi
Local market distribution: Selling content and formats

 The choice between subtitling and dubbing a finished tape versus working with local producers to create new adaptation of is a crucial one. While subtitling and dubbing are quicker and allow the content to travel faster, local adaptations can generate more engagement and revenue overtime. The decision depends on the content and its potential resonance in its original form.

AI and Human Touch

The integration of AI and new technologies into content production and distribution is a topic that is gaining much attention.Sharon acknowledges the power of AI in enhancing creativity, providing translations, and offering legal insights. However, she underscores that AI will never replace the irreplaceable human touch that drives the industry.

Topic breakdown:

  • An overview of yes Studios and Sharon’s role in the business
  • Sharon’s your past experience at Armoza Formats, an ITV Studios company.
  • Harnessing the power of Israeli IP – How yesStudios are finding success and informing their distribution strategy with scripted Israeli IP shows 
  • Selling to global streamers vs. local players
  • yes Studio’s focus for MIPCOM 2023
  • How content can take on a new life in different regions
  • yes Studios plans with AI in the content and distribution world
  • Common challenges facing distribution business in2023 and beyond

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