Screenocean at 10.

We know only too well that what we are doing is nothing more than a drop in the ocean. But if the drop were not there, the ocean would be missing something.” ― Mother Teresa


Nearly 11 years ago I was looking for more creative ways to sell the Imagen platform (for those who are not familiar with Imagen see details of Screenocean’s holding company at www.imagenevp.com). During a conversation with some leaders of the footage licensing industry, I learnt of the PACT terms of trade negotiations in 2004 which determined that clip rights in commissioned and broadcast shows would return to the producer rather than remain with the broadcaster. The corollary of this was,... , that instead of clips being available from relatively few sources, there was a disparate market. This spawned the idea to approach the producers and offer them the chance to have their footage available online via an aggregated platform where researchers could more easily find content from a single source, rather than across many producers. The business model was a shared revenue on sales income with Imagen clips sales (Screenocean) covering the platform, administration, sales and marketing overhead.

At the same time, I learnt that the Channel 4 clip sales representation agreement with ITN Source was up for renewal and following an introduction to Jeremy Kimberlin, Head of Rights at Channel 4, we formulated an agreement to represent the Channel 4 archive and to start work on proposing to independent producers the opportunity to join the Screenocean family. Fast forward ten years and Screenocean is a major player in the footage market. It hasn’t all been plain sailing…our plan to aggregate the Indies never really worked, apart from Shed now WBUKTV and a few other earlier alliances, not many Indies were wowed by the proposition – maybe it seemed too good to be true; maybe the revenues were relatively insignificant to justify the set up overhead – we never really understood why – nevertheless I still believe there is a significant opportunity there! The first three years were a struggle financially, while the turnover was growing nicely, the overhead was far too high, making the business unprofitable. We changed tack and concentrated on being a specialist rights managed ‘white glove’ service provider and along with the best in class Imagen platform, this attracted more content owners to join the family. From our initial 2 employees we now have a team of 15 covering the globe and our collections include Reuters, Channel 5, Clips and Footage, BAFTA et al.

In summary, Screenocean deal exclusively in rights managed footage licensing – providing access to unique and quality content from around the world, captured from 1896 to the present day. Our collections include momentous historic newsreels, entertainment programmes and over 20 million iconic images. Our approach is different and boutique, as we have found it needs to be when dealing with more complex, rights managed material. Our team are some of the best researchers and experts in the industry, we focus on really getting to know the collections we represent, building long lasting relationships, knowledge of up and coming productions, exploring innovative licensing models and above all, providing a hands-on approach to help bring projects to life with archive.

Here’s to the next 10 years!

Tony Blake - Chairman
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Screenocean at 10.

We know only too well that what we are doing is nothing more than a drop in the ocean. But if the drop were not there, the ocean would be missing something.” ― Mother Teresa


Nearly 11 years ago I was looking for more creative ways to sell the Imagen platform (for those who are not familiar with Imagen see details of Screenocean’s holding company at www.imagenevp.com). During a conversation with some leaders of the footage licensing industry, I learnt of the PACT terms of trade negotiations in 2004 which determined that clip rights in commissioned and broadcast shows would return to the producer rather than remain with the broadcaster. The corollary of this was, that instead of clips being available from relatively few sources, there was a disparate market. This spawned the idea to approach the producers and offer them the chance to have their footage available online via an aggregated platform where researchers could more easily find content from a single source, rather than across many producers. The business model was a shared revenue on sales income with Imagen clips sales (Screenocean) covering the platform, administration, sales and marketing overhead.

At the same time, I learnt that the Channel 4 clip sales representation agreement with ITN Source was up for renewal and following an introduction to Jeremy Kimberlin, Head of Rights at Channel 4, we formulated an agreement to represent the Channel 4 archive and to start work on proposing to independent producers the opportunity to join the Screenocean family. Fast forward ten years and Screenocean is a major player in the footage market. It hasn’t all been plain sailing…our plan to aggregate the Indies never really worked, apart from Shed now WBUKTV and a few other earlier alliances, not many Indies were wowed by the proposition – maybe it seemed too good to be true; maybe the revenues were relatively insignificant to justify the set up overhead – we never really understood why – nevertheless I still believe there is a significant opportunity there! The first three years were a struggle financially, while the turnover was growing nicely, the overhead was far too high, making the business unprofitable. We changed tack and concentrated on being a specialist rights managed ‘white glove’ service provider and along with the best in class Imagen platform, this attracted more content owners to join the family. From our initial 2 employees we now have a team of 15 covering the globe and our collections include Reuters, Channel 5, Clips and Footage, BAFTA et al.

In summary, Screenocean deal exclusively in rights managed footage licensing – providing access to unique and quality content from around the world, captured from 1896 to the present day. Our collections include momentous historic newsreels, entertainment programmes and over 20 million iconic images. Our approach is different and boutique, as we have found it needs to be when dealing with more complex, rights managed material. Our team are some of the best researchers and experts in the industry, we focus on really getting to know the collections we represent, building long lasting relationships, knowledge of up and coming productions, exploring innovative licensing models and above all, providing a hands-on approach to help bring projects to life with archive.

Here’s to the next 10 years!

Tony Blake - Chairman

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