Broadcasting from Amsterdam to the world
“Amsterdam will become our main Playout centre”
TVT Media is one of the world’s fastest growing digital media services and post-production companies. In July 2017, it joined forces with Amsterdam-based DMC to create a global content management powerhouse. It now provides content services to over 300 broadcasters around the world – from the BBC and ITV to AMC, Liberty Global and Netflix, to name a few.
“When we acquired DMC, we gained a world-leading Playout technology platform and a team of highly talented people,” says Ian Brotherston, CEO of TVT Media. “This combination enables us to make content accessible on different channels, in various formats and contexts.
“Now we can provide end-to-end content services, adapting, editing and localising programmes for different parts of the world. We see demand for these services growing and Amsterdam will become our main Playout centre.”
Amsterdam excels in digital and physical connectivity
The Amsterdam Internet Exchange (AMS-IX) is the world’s largest data transport hub and the city is one of the most digitally connected in Europe. Its network infrastructure is capable of reaching 80% of European customers within 50 milliseconds. This gives global tech companies based here a huge advantage.
“When you walk into our Playout centre in Amsterdam,” says Ian, “you see a big wall of screens showing programmes going live in Tokyo and Sydney. We can literally reach the world from Amsterdam.”
Travelling to and from Amsterdam is also efficient and convenient. Schiphol airport already connects the Netherlands to the world – and now there is a direct Eurostar service to London. “I can hop on a train in London and be in our Amsterdam office in just four hours,” says Ian.
The people are the real asset
“The people in our 150-strong team in Amsterdam speak around 40 languages between them,” says Ian. “That is a big benefit to us. It’s not just their linguistic ability; it’s the international cultural awareness they bring with them that really matters.
“We’re a global business and we need people with that cultural sensitivity. We also need people who are technologically capable – and that’s where our Amsterdam team is impressive. The quality of their engineering is outstanding.”
A media hub to rival London
The Netherlands has been a centre for creative talent for a long time. But Ian feels it is now beginning to rival London as an international media hub. “That is partly because of Brexit,” he admits.
“Many US-based global broadcasters looking to reach a European audience are starting to feel they need a presence outside the UK. Amsterdam has a very liberal environment that encourages creativity. It’s got that vibrant hybrid of tech skills and creative talent.”
Amsterdam is special – and it’s easy to attract top talent
The international media landscape is dynamic and, like all businesses, TVT Media, needs to attract top talent in a highly competitive global market. But, according to Ian, Amsterdam facilitates that. With headquarters in London and offices in Krakow, LA, Tokyo, Singapore and Sydney, as well as Amsterdam, TVT Media employees often move around for career enhancement opportunities.
“But Amsterdam is quite special,” he says. “It’s an attractive city and there can’t be many places that are easier to move to and acclimatise quickly. Everyone speaks English and, in many ways, it’s similar to London – although probably with a healthier lifestyle.”
The business and tax climate in the Netherlands is also designed to appeal to international companies, to support R&D and attract senior talent. “The NFIA and amsterdam inbusiness are always helpful with these types of issues,” says Ian. “They’re knowledgeable, but also prepared to listen and adapt to attract global companies.”
“We see Amsterdam as a European hub where we can serve the world,” concludes Ian. “It’s vibrant and I can see other media companies migrating here.”