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Germany's Mediapeers Expands Ops Into Korea, China, Japan

Company partners with SKT to expand into Asia.

At filmed entertainment markets around the world, a host of new business-to-business digital matching services and content management systems are saving buyers and sellers time and keeping their transactions paperless and secure.

One German company, mediapeers gmbh, has gotten a jump on its competitors in this rapidly developing service area, partnering with SKT, the largest telecommunications provider in super-wired South Korea, to spread the service to Asia in Korean starting this month and in Chinese and Japanese by the end of the year, co-CEOs Holger Hendel and Moritz Viehweger told The Hollywood Reporter at the American Film Market on Sunday.

Their company of 15 people, founded in Berlin in 2007, is backed by seven-figure investment from Deutsche Telekom and Dutch entertainment Fintage House. The website mediapeers.com -- already available in English, German, French and Spanish – has 1,500 company users in 80 countries, including Telepool, the distribution arm of RTL, one of the largest sellers of filmed content in Europe.

The company already has a 60,000-title library, mostly from big production markets such as the United States, Germany, Britain and France.

Rather than toting around big bags of DVDs and folder upon folder of film synopses and contract drafts, buyers can walk out of a meeting at a film market with a password to a seller's content hosted on one of the mediapeers sites. Sellers, meanwhile – some of whom choose to pay Hendel and Viehweger to customize their software or embed it into their company's own site – can track who's watching what, when.

The sites are easily searched using filters such as genre, language and territory rights available. Mediapeers either takes between 7%-15% of each transaction done on its digital marketplace or charges monthly subscription fees from 500 Euros for 100 titles to sit in its system up to 7,500 Euros for a fully customized library.

"From Asia, the Bollywood content and Korean content are the best suited for foreign licensing and make up the bulk of our eastern content so far," Hendel said. Among the 700 sales companies registered to the service, the largest contingent is from the subcontinent, while Eastern Europeans are the largest grouping on the buy side. "Users from these countries are less plugged into the global licensing game, so they're more ready to adapt new approaches," Hendel said.

SKT will help showcase the mediapeers technology in Asian markets: "We're aware that in China, for instance, one has to work with a state approved importer. SKT has a good network in Asia and we're content for now to work with them rather than create competition by partnering with other regional telecoms," Hendel said, adding his pleasure that "SKT has a production company that will feed the mediapeers and tradeallcontent library."