|RLJ ENTERTAINMENT, INC. filed this Form 10-Q on 11/09/2017|
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NOTE 1. DESCRIPTION OF BUSINESS AND BASIS OF PRESENTATION
Description of Business
RLJ Entertainment, Inc. (RLJE or the Company) is a premium digital channel company serving distinct audiences through its proprietary subscription-based digital channels, Acorn TV and UMC or Urban Movie Channel, and a direct presence in North America, the United Kingdom (or U.K.) and Australia with strategic sublicense and distribution relationships covering Europe, Asia and Latin America. RLJE was incorporated in Nevada in April 2012. On October 3, 2012, we completed the business combination of RLJE, Image Entertainment, Inc. (or Image) and Acorn Media Group, Inc. (or Acorn Media), which is referred to herein as the “Business Combination.” Acorn Media includes its U.K. subsidiaries RLJ Entertainment Ltd (or RLJE Ltd.), Acorn Media Enterprises Limited (or AME), and RLJE International Ltd (collectively, RLJE UK), as well as RLJ Entertainment Australia Pty Ltd (or RLJE Australia). In February 2012, Acorn Media acquired a 64% ownership of Agatha Christie Limited (or ACL). References to Image include its wholly-owned subsidiary Image/Madacy Home Entertainment, LLC. “We,” “our” or “us” refers to RLJE and its subsidiaries unless otherwise noted. Our principal executive offices are located in Silver Spring, Maryland, with an additional location in Woodland Hills, California. We also have international offices in London, England and Sydney, Australia.
We acquire content rights in various categories including, British mysteries and dramas, content targeting urban audiences and full-length independent motion pictures. We acquire content in three ways:
We market our products through a multi-channel strategy encompassing (1) direct relations with consumers via proprietary subscription-based video on demand (or SVOD) digital channels (our Digital Channels segment); (2) the licensing of original drama and mystery content managed and developed through our wholly-owned subsidiary, AME, and our majority-owned equity method investee, ACL, (our Intellectual Property, or IP, Licensing segment); and (3) exploitation through partners covering broadcast/cable, digital, mobile, ecommerce and brick and mortar outlets (our Wholesale Distribution segment).
Our Digital Channels segment includes the subscription-based sale of video content directly and through third-party distribution to consumers through our digital channels, such as Acorn TV and UMC.
Our IP Licensing segment includes intellectual property (or content) owned or created by us, other than certain fitness related content, that is sublicensed for exploitation worldwide. The IP Licensing segment also includes our investment in ACL.
Our Wholesale Distribution segment consists of the acquisition, content enhancement and worldwide exploitation of exclusive content in various formats, including broadcast (which includes cable and satellite), DVD, Blu-ray, digital, video-on-demand (or VOD), SVOD, downloading and sublicensing. The Wholesale Distribution segment exploits content through third-party vendors, which we also refer to as wholesale partners. Our wholesale partners are broadcasters, digital outlets and major retailers in the United States of America (or U.S.), Canada, U.K. and Australia, including, among others, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, DirecTV, Hulu, iTunes, Netflix, PBS, Showtime, Starz, Target and Walmart.
On June 24, 2016, we entered into a licensing agreement with Universal Screen Arts (or USA) whereby USA took over our Acorn U.S. catalog/ecommerce business becoming the official, exclusive, direct-to-consumer seller of Acorn product in the U.S. through catalogs and ecommerce. As such, USA received the rights to the Acorn catalog and related website for an 18-month period. In May 2017, we amended the agreement and extended the licensing term through March 31, 2020. To facilitate the transfer of the catalog to USA, we granted USA access to the catalog’s customer list and the Acorn brand. Going forward, we will also endeavor to provide USA with an exclusivity period for new Acorn releases. USA is responsible for all costs associated with their efforts. On an annual basis, USA will purchase from us a minimum of $1.2 million of inventory (Acorn video content) at pricing that is consistent with wholesale pricing. We also agreed to a one-time transfer of certain existing inventory to USA at cost. Further, we have been given meaningful consultation rights regarding sales prices of Acorn content listed in the catalog.
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