RightsTrade, the leading online rights licensing marketplace, announced today the appointment of Bill Lischak (Drive, Hell or High Water) as CEO. In his new role, Lischak is focused on further developing the functionality of the platform, creating strategic relationships and further developing and broadening industry implementation. Already the company has a community of over 29,000 registered industry executives, over 6,000 film and television titles available and has hosted more than 400,000 secure screenings. Lischak joins a stellar team that includes the Kassins as Board Members and Managing Director, Jaime Otero.
Prior to joining RightsTrade, Lischak served as a senior executive at multi-national VFX House, Pixomondo (“Game of Thrones”) where he shepherded the sale of a majority equity stake to private equity. Before that he served as President and COO of OddLot Entertainment, where he implemented various production/distribution joint venture structures with Lionsgate, STX and Sierra/Affinity (eOne); and executive produced award-winning films including Hell or High Water, Ender’s Game, The Way, Way Back and Drive. Lischak also served as President and COO of First Look Media, where he managed and expanded the film licensing and distribution business, increasing revenue from $6 million to $125 million and bringing the company public. Based on technology built at First Look Media, he went on to fund the creation of FilmTrack with Jason and Stephen Kassin.
Lischak said: “Jason and Stephen Kassin are gifted, spirited, forward-thinking entrepreneurs – it’s fantastic to become a part of their talented, highly experienced and dedicated RightsTrade team. When Jason and Stephen approached me about joining the company, I was immediately excited about the potential for RightsTrade given industry trends. Covid-19 has dramatically accelerated and accentuated the marketplace need for RightsTrade. The team has built a vibrant, tried-and-tested platform. We are energized by the work we are doing to expand our functionality to mimic physical market experiences for the benefit of our film and television community. Already we are rolling out enhancements and increased functionality which support not only fully virtual markets, but also traditional physical markets looking to expand their reach. RightsTrade, at its core, is focused on enabling efficient licensing transactions for film and television rights, 24/7/365.”
Founder Jason Kassin commented on the appointment: “It’s exciting to be working with Bill once again. This represents the culmination of a relationship that began over twenty years ago. Much of what Stephen and I know about film distribution and finance we owe to Bill. He’s a proven innovator in our industry and is uniquely equipped to take RightsTrade to the next level. The platform will be informed by his deep understanding of IP transactions and the company will benefit from his steady leadership. Stephen and I could not be happier than with him at the helm of RightsTrade.”
Amidst the current challenges posed by Covid-19, RightsTrade has seen an increase in buyer activity by threefold. With access to such a platform so important during this time, RightsTrade has implemented new initiatives to give back to the industry, offering free service for all content buyers, as well as free tools for sales agents to screen and promote their new releases. RightsTrade is also currently developing a joint venture integrated video conferencing solution which provides an unparalleled video sharing experience, soon to be announced.
Managing Director Jaime Otero of RightsTrade added: “We are excited to welcome Bill to the team and benefit from his deep experience and broadened vision for RightsTrade. As the largest and most widely adopted platform of its kind, we embrace the challenge of supporting the film and TV industry in a time when the demand for online solutions to increase global content sales and reduce licensing costs is on the rise. It is in this context that we are excited to announce upcoming partnerships that will provide expanded services and content offerings to its global community of industry executives.”