On cloud nine
Acquisitions, business development in China put 9 Story on top
9 Story Distribution International is based in Ireland but spent much of 2018 expanding its efforts in China. And after taking home the Hot50’s top spot in Distribution, the company is on cloud nine. “It put the biggest smile on our faces,” says Alix Wiseman, 9 Story’s SVP of business development and acquisitions. “It’s the ultimate vote of confidence.”
In addition to five territory visits, 9 Story’s expansion in China included content distribution, the acquisition of local programs, and the pursuit of multiple co-production opportunities. Next year, the company will focus on CGI-animated preschool series Dr. Panda, based on the same-name kids app. Wiseman says the series is just one of many shows 9 Story is working on via partnerships and acquisitions.
A major acquisition in 2018 was the kids and family library and development slate from Toronto, Canada-based Breakthrough Entertainment. The deal grew 9 Story’s distribution catalogue to more than 3,500 half hours. “Our ambition is to bring forward content in diverse genres,” says Wiseman. “We want to focus on comedy for preschool and six- to 10-year-olds, and we have some exciting plans for live-action coming up.” Each IP, she adds, will benefit from the unique creative vision of a creator, director, writer or showrunner.