We sat down with Rushlake Media founder Philipp Hoffmann to talk about the new rules of VOD, the future of film distribution, and release windowing.

Tobias Jaeger
May 1 · 27 min read

Philipp Hoffmann is the Founder and CEO of Cologne-based Rushlake Media, a specialized distributor and film sales company that has recently branched out into Video on Demand by creating its own platform. Philipp started his career 15 years ago in film sales and worked his way up through brokering distribution deals. Besides becoming a specialized distributor, Philipp and his team have launched a new VOD platform in cooperation with exhibitors to bring people back to movie theaters.

My impression is that most of the film schools consider themselves as artistic schools, which are focused on directing and writing. Producing is considered as a service to directors. That’s why it’s in so many cases it’s called creative producing, which is fair enough. In the end you should not miss out the other aspect, which, of course, is that it’s important to keep your business together.


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Rushlake Media founder Philipp Hoffman talks about his new VOD venture Kino on Demand, the new rules of VOD, and the future of film distribution and release windowing.


Tobias Jaeger: Welcome to the show.

Philipp Hoffmann: Thank you very much for having me.

TJ: Thanks for making the time. I know one of your activities is obviously buying and selling film rights, but obviously one of the very exciting things you’re involved in is the VOD (video on demand) platform, which I would love to talk to you about. But first I want to ask you, how did you get into this industry?

PH: Pure coincidence.

TJ: Just showed up somewhere, like this guy-

PH: Went through a door by coincidence and that there was some film people. No, it was actually on purpose to be honest. Maybe something like a plan behind it. No, at some point in school I had the idea that I definitely want to go to film school. And as probably, I would, say 95% of everybody who wants to go to film school, I initiated to become a director. After five minutes, I thought that’s not a good idea. So I wanted to be a producer.

PH: Once I left school, I did some internships with the purpose of getting accepted on a film school, which eventually worked. And I started producing at a film school.

TJ: Okay.

PH: And in fact, during my studies of production at the film school, I… yeah, I really came to the conclusion that maybe producing is not the best thing for me either.

TJ: Well, what was that? Did you have like a key moment where like, oh, okay, this is maybe not what I want to do? Or was it just a specific event or how did you find… like how did you arrive at that conclusion?

PH: What I learned about the industry, how films are financed, the whole funding system, the competition you have, that I thought, maybe that’s not the right thing. Because I would say maybe I’m driven a little bit by an entrepreneurial spirit, which I didn’t see the chance of developing within production, traditional production, as it is mostly done here in Germany. And that what I wanted to achieve, I thought this could be much more achievable, so to say, in sales and distribution. v

TJ: Go on. Tell me more.

PH: Let’s go into that direction. And I left film school, first worked for a TV production after that, which was a job which came up. And after film school you’re usually looking, you’re looking for job, so I did that. And then I actually was very lucky because I got the chance to do an internship at a newly formed world sales company at that point, which is called The Match Factory, which still exists as now one of the big European sales agents. And I started working there and I’ve been with the company for, I think, a total of five years with a short break in between when I’ve been to the US and worked for a distribution company there. And I have to say that actually this is where actually learned the business, and of course everything developed in the end of that now and led finally to the place where I am today.

Rushlake Media founder Philipp Hoffmann giving an executive keynote to global film finance leaders about customer loyalty in film exhibition at Zurich Summit in 2018.

TJ: Yes. So it was almost like a second degree you got after being in film school, studying that, working in the distribution.

PH: In fact, I think you could say that. Of course, if you want to make films, you learn a lot of great things at film school. But what I experienced and what I, experienced today when I meet young people from film schools or when I teach occasionally here and there, is that in fact the business side of our industry is not taught at all or not taught very well at many, many film schools. Which if you want to become a producer or maybe on the more industry, or the more commercial part of the industry, is of course not very helpful. Yeah, and that I definitely learned after that on the job.

TJ: Do you have an idea of why that is? Why do you think that’s not… I mean you’re right, it’s such an existential part of the business. I mean, it’s such an important part of the whole value chain, whether it’s TV or film or any other entertainment products for that matter. Why is that not more of a thing to teach in a film school?

PH: I can only guess, but my impression is that most of the film schools consider themselves as artistic schools, which are to good extent focused on directing and writing, and of course producing is considered as a service to directors. That’s why it’s in so many cases it’s called creative producing, which is fair enough. I don’t want to say anything against that, but in the end you should not miss out the other aspect, which of course is important to keep your business together. Right?

TJ: Yeah, yeah.

PH: Particularly in times like that where so many things are changing and the models which are still taught at film school are maybe not working to the extent anymore they used to work.

TJ: No, I think that’s where a lot of misunderstanding stem from people in the business, but also in other industries. Just thinking back of my time in university, afterwards, I thought that we never had a class on sales and that is the lifeblood of any organization.

PH: Absolutely. Absolutely, yeah.

TJ: Of course you can’t really… I don’t know if… I mean, there must be an opportunity to do academic research on sales as well.

PH: Yeah. Yes, certainly.

Moreover, and that’s indeed a true story, with a great lecturer at film school at times, David Bordwell. And he nailed it down by saying in a seminar, and I remember exactly that sentence, “The money is not in production, it’s in distribution.”. And I thought, okay, well that sounds logical.

TJ: But maybe for the same reason, it’s not regarded as academic or worthy enough to be done. And I think a lot of misunderstandings stem from that. So obviously a big part of what you do is in VOD. And before we dive into that, I mean it’s obviously such a hot topic, and everyone talks about it a lot. But I feel like there’s a lot of misunderstandings from people in the industry, but also from consumers, what like VOD is actually about. So maybe you can talk a little about how you got into that and how what you’re working on now has evolved. And I know a lot of people when they hear you created a VOD platform, then they go, out, what? So you’re trying to do another Netflix? And then obviously-

PH: No, we’re not. Just to answer that directly.

TJ: It was about to say, “No, we don’t” must have been something you said quite a couple times now.

PH: Yeah.

TJ: So how did you journey into that, from traditional into let’s say-

PH: Hip or cool.

TJ: … Hip, cool, hot VOD digital market?

PH: Well, as I said, I joined a company shortly after film school where I pretty much learned the traditional business, which was great, and which in fact is still there to some extent. However, what happened at that time was there was obviously changing things and something I heard many times, even in these early days of my career is, in the good old days, it was this and that. So I got the impression the good old days are not there anymore. Even when I joined the industry in, what is it actually? That was in 2006, so it’s more than 10 years or 13 years ago now. And a lot of things happen, and eventually, after a few years doing the traditional side of the business, I felt the urge that I want to move into digital, a much quicker and much more, yeah, much more dedicated than it was possible in my old company. That’s why I decided to leave at my own risk of course. And started slowly building up that business in the digital world. Because I may be going back to to film school for one second because I made one very interesting experience at film school. At that time, I studied between, what was it, 2000 to 2005. We learned everything about the old 16 and 35 millimeter world. I can tell you everything, how to calculate how the post production process works, so on and so forth.

TJ: Nice, that’s great.

PH: We did our final film at film school. Our graduation film, we did, actually one of the first ones who did it on MiniDV I think at that time.

TJ: Oh Wow. With a cassette.

PH: Exactly. Exactly. And there was no process for that. There was no set up on how to do post production for these kinds of films. The funny thing was, the moment we left film school, 16 millimeter and 35 millimeter were dead. We learned everything about it and once we left film school, it was gone.

TJ: “And by the way, it’s obsolete”.

PH: Exactly. So that was a thing and okay, this won’t happen again. So I that’s why I had this urge at some point. Okay, the industry in general is not taking care too much about the digital market. So I want to go into that. Maybe it was a bit naive, maybe that was pretty much risk taking, but that was my decision at that point.

TJ: Part frustration, part excitement.

PH: Exactly. So the usual mixture of why you want to move on when you’re not even, I think not even 30 at that point. So there we are, and then everything happened step by step.

TJ: So this described to us real quick, obviously, VOD as mentioned, it’s a huge word, can mean a lot of things. What does it mean in your case? What is it that you do?

PH: I would call ourselves a digital distribution company. Meaning we’re not doing licensing. We always try to combine licensing with marketing. And really as a good distribution company, we try to find the right spot for the right films at the right time. And I have to say it’s an ongoing learning process because we don’t have a, so to say, stable market, right, in a very dynamic market. Something we know today might not be valid anymore in six months down the road. And something we said six months ago might not be valid anymore today. So it’s constant change and maybe in the so called good old days there was something, you know, I want to release my film next week theatrically. So I know what kind of MGs (minimum guarantees) I can get from which territory, roughly. What I can expect from DVD sales on a film. That’s not there anymore. We see players come and going very quickly. We see business models changing very quickly. So it’s very hard to calculate. So I would say we have a lot of pressure to staying up to date and try to understand and see every change which happens in the market. And some films, some product or content, no matter how you want to call it, which might be very interesting for the market today might not be interesting anymore, again, in six months down the road. So that’s the situation. Also, one general remark, for me digital is not an island. For me it’s always interconnected with other, let’s say traditional ways of distribution. To give a very simple example, a film which we have been able maybe to build up a profile, through festivals of course, has a much better chance thriving in the digital world than a film, of course, without profile. I know it sounds banal, but that’s just to illustrate how we see that. So it was always, digital is always interconnected with other means of distribution.

I remember that many people thought the digital world is, let’s say, the overflow reservoir of everything which does not work in the analog world. We just throw it in and somebody will love it and somebody will watch it. It’s just not like that. Funnily, later on it became kind of the threat to many things. Oh my goodness. It’s disruptive. It destroys our existing business model, which in fact is not exclusive to the film world. Every industry, generally speaking, which is hit by the digitalization faces exactly the same challenges.

TJ: Which is quite different from how a lot of people see it. It’s always this or that. Never like, hey, how can this work together? Obviously, with Kino on Demand where you’re providing VOD platforms to brick and mortar movie theaters, tell us a little bit about how your first conversations with these movie theaters worked, and how it maybe changed over time and making them understand that this is not to replace them. Which I guess a lot of them assumed when when they see what’s happening that, oh, okay, now people are just going to watch stuff at home, but that’s not the case, right?

PH: That’s absolutely not the case. If I may say one thing before that, as you said, the perception of the digital market has been changing massively and I remember that, I would say now, six, seven, eight years ago when kind of the opportunity of the digital market showed up for the first time, I remember that many people thought, oh great. Now they read The Long Tail by Chris Anderson and thought, okay, now this is the… The digital world is, let’s say, the overflow reservoir of everything which does not work in the analog world. Right. And okay, we just throw it in and somebody will love it and somebody will watch it. It’s just not like that. Right? So it turned out eventually that’s not the right approach to the digital market. And funnily, later on it became kind of the threat to many things. Oh my goodness. It’s disruptive. It destroys our existing business model, which in fact is not exclusive to the film world. Every industry, generally speaking, which is hit by the digitalization faces exactly the same challenges. We have very established business models which have been working or have worked for for 10, 20, 30 years and all of a sudden, the power play is shifted through digitalization and all of a sudden, you have to ask the question, okay, how can we translate our business models into the new world? And that’s exactly the process that the film industry is going through some years now, and will go through for another few years before we really understand how this all works. What we do with Kino on Demand is, in fact, we try to connect the theatrical experience, which can only happen at theaters for obvious reasons, with the digital market. Meaning Kino on Demand enables cinemas to offer the local audiences an extended digital offer. So they can offer films online as a TVOD stream in addition to their programming on the big screen. This might be a surprise for some people, but people usually do not go either to the cinema or watch things online. They usually do both. Not at the same time, I guess. But some days they go to cinemas, on another days they watch films back home as VOD or maybe as DVD or on TV, whatever. So we’re all multiple users, at least more than 90% of us now. Right? And so we found it very logical to enable cinemas to offer not only something on the big screen, which is of course the best movie experience you can probably get in many cases, but something more in order to tie the local audiences to their business. And in fact, the first conversation we had about this topic was with an exhibitor, who said, oh actually, we should do that. The following conversations, and in fact, not us but also some partners we work with in other countries, face a lot of, let’s say fear, by cinemas that this will take away audiences from cinemas. Let’s say I understand where this fear comes from, but I don’t necessarily share it, to be perfectly honest. For that reason I just mentioned, that we’re all multiple users. In 2019, you don’t have to explain to people anymore, hey, you can watch films on online. Because you know people know that they can watch films online. If they want to watch them online, they will do this.

TJ: I think nowadays you might have to explain the other thing. There is this place, you can watch it with 300 other people and-

PH: It’s a great and it’s fun.

TJ: … and you can have a great time. Yeah, no, I think that’s quite interesting because I think often a lot of places, obviously, any changes it’s not greeted with… it’s greeted with skepticism. And funny enough, I think there’s no report or research out there indicating that if you give people, for example, a watch at home or VOD option, they will never go back to the movie theater.

PH: Oh, there are studies like that.

TJ: There are?

PH: But they prove the contrary.

TJ: Yeah, that’s what I mean. There’s no, none of that show that you will lose them forever. I mean for a movie theater, the obvious physical restriction is that as soon as the customer is through the door, they can’t really sell them anything more or work with them other than like, hey, here’s our newsletter and please come back. Don’t forget us.

PH: Next time is… Yeah, of course, of course. And that’s what we try to try to do with Kino on Demand, in fact. And we’re about to change our concept a little bit. We’ve been running this now for some years and what we are going to do now this year is that we give our users an actually incentive to go back to cinema. Meaning, the model we will present in the first place is that once a user watched five films on Kino on Demand, that user will get a five Euro voucher to go back to his or her local cinema.

TJ: Okay, wow.

PH: Each transaction on Kino on Demand is allocated or connected with the cinema. So once I use Kino on Demand for the first time, the system asks me, okay, what’s your local cinema? Where do you usually watch your films? Or it makes some suggestions based on your IP. And let’s say I go to the Filmkunstkinos in Düsseldorf, they are the Arthouse Kinos, they are partners of Kino on Demand, so if I watch my films through the Filmkunstkinos Düsseldorf offer on Kino on Demand, I’m allocated to that cinema. And once I’ve watched five films, I automatically get a five euro voucher by email that I can use next time I go to the local cinema. Meaning we want to really close the circle between again, the theatrical experience and home watching. And to make sure we’re not driving people away from cinemas once they watch films at home. On the contrary, we bring them back to the cinema and give them a chance to or to give an incentive for that experience. Which we think makes a lot of sense.

TJ: Absolutely.

PH: Hopefully it addresses that. Not only that we give our users an additional benefit, hopefully we can address the fears among exhibitors that VOD is driving people away from cinema.

TJ: How did you go about this? Was this something you found in numbers you analyzed or kind of internal study for lack of a better description? Was this result of conversations you had with the exhibitors that they are saying, oh look. Obviously, it is quite innovative. I don’t know of anyone that does that anywhere. So how did you innovate, in a sense?

PH: Simply speaking, it was a learning process on many different levels, that we saw that once users are using Kino on Demand, we have a very high retention rate, so they come back. So obviously they like it. Of course, we did our surveys and everything and it was in principle very positive, what we read and the results have been positive. However, we’re not a huge company so we are, again, we’re not Netflix, we don’t want to be in like Netflix. We don’t produce our own exclusive content nobody else has. So we don’t have, not necessarily distinction in terms of the program. Plus there are many VOD platforms out there. In fact, we kept on having those conversations with cinemas and how yeah, basically I think it’s a good idea, but I don’t want to lose my audience to the digital market. And that, to make a long story short, came to that point where we developed a concept where we thought we can solve all these problems in once. And we had conversations with cinemas again, with exhibitors, and also some surveys, and it was for us was kind of this click moment, right? We say, okay, now that story really works. Why we’ve before always had to explain a lot, why should you watch that? And so this immediately everybody understands. Okay, it still has to be proven in reality, we know. But from what we have seen and learned and the feedback we got so far, it makes a lot of sense.

TJ: So actually you arrived at it by making things simpler, instead of going like, okay, how can we invent another, take like complicated mechanism to make things happen? You know, actually, look, it’s an easy… like it goes here and then it goes back, in a sense.

PH: True. The funny thing, or the irony is that those simple things are incredibly hard to invent. Something which looks very simple in the front, usually has a long history in the back, and sometimes a very complicated set up to actually end up there. In the end, a colleague, coworker and good friend of mine, he’s also a screenwriter, and he said, it’s the same process as writing a script. When the script is there and everybody thinks is good, you always think, oh, it cannot. It can only be this solution. Nothing else is possible. That it took 25 drafts to get there, right, until you ended up with this solution which looks so simple.

TJ: Yeah, it’s a bit like-

PH: That’s another story.

TJ: It’s a bit like, sorry, I wrote you this long email. I didn’t have time to write you a short one.

PH: Exactly. Exactly. Exactly. That’s exactly the thing. So to have a simple model usually takes a very long time to develop. And that’s exactly the experience we made.

TJ: What were some of the developments that you watched and what do you think it’s going to look like in future?

PH: The future ways of consuming films are either theatrical or streaming, simply speaking. I think TV is under a much bigger threat than cinemas. I’m really one of those people who think that cinema certainly will survive. Because it’s just, in an ideal case is a pleasant experience about going out. I doubt that we’ll see cinemas go away. We might see a different future for TV, and of course everybody knows the fate of DVD and Blue Ray. Right? I mean, so for me, theatrical and VOD are the ways of consuming films of the future. It’s a completely different question, how the underlying business models will work. And I think that we’ll see a lot of development in the future. What I think my change in a nutshell is that nowadays we have these very fixed distribution plans. So I’m going to release my film theatrically today. Meaning, I’ll have home video release in four to six months down the road. At some point I go to TV, so on and so forth. And we have seen this very fierce discussions, in particular in Germany, about the windows. Should they be eliminated? Should they be kept for now? Are they kept legally in the FFG and the Filmförderungsgesetz because that’s… I mean, those fights will go on for a little while. But if you ask me to predict things, what I would assume-

TJ: Take out the crystal ball and-

PH: Let’s take out the crystal ball for a second. I think we see a massive flexibilitization on that. A film which is released today, why should I decide today is going to be out on VOD in three months or four months or six months? I think it will, in the future, but pretty much depend on real time data on how the film performs, where does it perform, how does the target group develops, so on and so forth. And based on that, things will adopt I think very quickly. Let’s wait for the first weekend. Let’s wait for the second week and where does the film work in cities? Does it work in rural areas? What’s the target audience, so on and so forth? And then based on these experiences, develop, adopt the home video plans. Okay. I have to, maybe it’s not a success, it’ll be out of cinemas in two weeks. So I have to go out quicker on home entertainment or maybe it’s a huge success, right? I mean everybody wants to see the film and everybody runs to the cinema to watch that film. Hey, great, wonderful. So why should we wait longer? Right?

TJ: Yeah.

PH: Why shouldn’t we postpone it for a few more months until we really made the best out of cinema. And I think that’s one of the things which will happen that we’ll probably see a massive flexibilitization on release patterns and distribution strategies based on data information and so on and so forth.

TJ: You just mentioned data, and that’s obviously something that a lot of the platforms keep very close to their chest. How does it work, for example with Kino on Demand? You have the movie theaters you are cooperating with, you have the rights holders. What’s your approach to for example, sharing that or giving them insight?

PH: I think we are in principle very open to that. Of course, we have, we have data protection laws, so on and so forth. So we have to, of course, work within the limits of the laws and the regulations. Of course, we cannot disclose personal data. A lot of data, for example, on the payment side, we don’t even see ourselves. It’s through an external payment provider, so that’s nothing we can use. But within the limits we have there, I think we are potentially very open. The thing is that nobody seems to be interested in the data right now. So we discussed it with some of our exhibitors we’re working with, and at this point they are not very interested. However, the digitalization of the customer relationship is however a big topic. Which for the cinema is, at this point, mainly a question of ticketing and things like that. What use can we make out of ticketing and news lettering, so on and so forth. I absolutely believe that with Kino on Demand, we can add an additional aspect of that which is the digital exportation. Which I think is particularly interesting when you put that interrelation with theatrical. So what do people watch at cinemas? What do they watch at home? And particularly, once we established our system, how is the connection there? What do people watch at home? For which film do they go back to cinemas? I think that could be very, very interesting insights into user behavior, which is crucial to understand in the future. Because if you work with one of the major platforms like iTunes, Amazon, Netflix, for the transactional platforms you get of course your revenue information. Okay. My film has been viewed, I don’t know, let’s say 150 times last month. So yeah, it makes whatever kind of revenue share. As we all know, Netflix does not disclose any data at all. Which is, I mean it’s the deal. Okay. That’s how it is. You can accept it or you don’t. That’s up to you. But from the independent sales and distribution point of view, of course I don’t want to be blind and deaf on the user end. Of course, I want to know who watches my films. When are my films watched, so on and so forth. That’s very, not only valuable, that’s crucial information. And through our own channels and systems, we are creating that information for us in the first place. That’s very helpful. And as I said, we’re happy to share that with our partners as well, for all these reasons. Because I think that’s crucial. We have to know that.

TJ: A lot of people would go to one of the tech hubs, but you guys are based in Cologne.

PH: I used to work and live in Cologne before, and so it was an obvious choice to stay there. I don’t feel too much connected with this tech startup world. For me, that’s a slightly different world. We’re pretty much, from our DNA from the very beginning, we were pretty much a film company, media company, which turned into a tech company to some extent over the years. Which I think has been a great decision to develop our own technology and it gives a lot of strategic freedom. So I’m very happy about that. But from the starting point we have been a film and media company. If you have that point of view, I think Cologne is certainly one of the best spots in the country. Also with a very solid financing landscape. Right? I mean obviously, the big broadcasters are based there, the WDR, RTL. We have a great local public fund, which is also very keen on innovation and has been very supportive to us.

TJ: We’ve talked a lot about the, let’s say past 10 years. There’s two things I would love to know from you. One is, if you could go back in time and tell your 20 year old self something about the future, what would that be? And then the other thing is, what do you see the future to look like for this industry?

PH: I would say, it’s not that people haven’t told it to me, but I didn’t consider that. Very simply speaking, treat yourself with a few more breaks here and there. It sounds so old now, but I learned some break here and there can help you thinking more creatively and just staying focused. No, it just, I think, which, I’m not sure if this was really a mistake, but just jumping head over into things. Of course, if you are better prepared at some point, and of course, things might have been worked out better.

TJ: Yeah.

PH: To some extent. But hey, that’s what I did.

TJ: I mean, had you known all of what you now know, you might have never done it as well. So that’s the other side of the coin. And that often-

PH: Certainly, I could’ve spared myself some problems which I’ve faced. But on the other hand, you never know. I mean I might’ve avoided some mistakes, but I would’ve made some other mistakes instead.

TJ: For the future, what are telling yourself now about the future?

PH: Stay focused, stay focused. I think when you hear the conversations in our industry these days, I think it’s either like people are either, from my point of view, completely overexcited about some things, which I think are not very fruitful. There’s, in almost every industry, that big elephant in the room that one company we all know, which starts with an N and ends with etflix. And I think it’s a very interesting company which drives a lot of things, but maybe doesn’t have that meaning many people see in it. There were still other things around. So that over excitement sometimes contrasts with complete desperation on the future.

TJ: Yeah.

PH: And I think the truth is probably somewhere in the middle, right?

TJ: Yeah.

PH: I mean particularly times of change, I think, offer a lot of opportunities. You can come up with many ideas, but the challenge for us is to stay focused on what we do. And of course, there are great things left and great things right. We say that’s a good thing. Maybe we should try to do that. And says, no, okay. Maybe, later on, we’ll start a new business maybe next year or whatever. But for now, let’s stay focused on those things. I think keeping the focus is probably the big learning. And maybe that’s, to come back to that question, maybe that’s what I would would have told my-

TJ: 20-year-old self.

PH: My 20-year-old self-

TJ: Just stay focused.

PH: … three years ago. Right?

TJ: Exactly.

PH: Almost like that. Stay focused, and that’s what we try to do in the future.

TJ: What else do you see, kind of in terms of the industry that you’re observing now that you feel people aren’t paying enough attention to? One thing, obviously you mentioned, that kind of visibility and weight of something seems to be mistaken for each other. What else are you kind of watching as a trend that you feel people aren’t paying enough attention to?

PH: It’s the biggest challenge, I think in our industry, on a very basic level, which is partly self-created, is a complete overabundance of content, that we’re all drowning in the sea we created ourselves. You’re not in the traffic jam, you’re always part of the traffic jam. And that’s a little bit the thing here. I really have no idea. And I think that’s a real threat to the industry, how this constant growing, constant growth of output we see on every level, how we deal with that as an industry. Because that’s the root of many problems. We’re drowned in that complete overabundance, and that it gets more and more challenging to get awareness and eyeballs onto our product we want to sell. Because people have just so many… there’s a famous number of how many hours of new content every minute, I think is probably, I don’t know, 500, 600.

TJ: Several days are uploaded to YouTube.

PH: I don’t know, it’s been 45 minutes now since we started speaking, so we will have a hard time catching up with the new stuff on YouTube tonight. So we just won’t work anymore for the next 10 years. So, but that’s the real challenge, I think. But that’s discussed only here and there; whatever answer we would find to that, honestly, I don’t have an answer to that, is that the answer will be very painful for the industry. So nobody wants to touch that question.

TJ: Exactly. Nobody wants to hear, look, you’re stuff is just not good enough to make it or shouldn’t be made or something, because-

PH: Maybe we need a few films less each year. Yeah, but that’s, I mean-

TJ: You’re right. That’s not an opinion that will fly at the film schools.

PH: Absolutely, absolutely. You get a lot of applause, particularly if you’re talking to producers. Not many people want to hear that, certainly.

TJ: Perfect. We’ll keep an eye on that and probably sit down again. And thank you so much for being here.

PH: Thank you for having me.

THANK YOU to this episode’s sponsor AXIOM Venture Capital!

Philipps’s company Rushlake Media can be found at https://www.rushlake-media.com. Kino on Demand can be found at http://www.kino-on-demand.com.

If you like this episode feel free to like it and to subscribe to our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCP3Hca209KYN25vs65_4klA


Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/themediacfo/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheMediaCFO/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/themediacfo
Website: http://www.themediacfo.com


Subscribe on Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/media-cfo-podcast/id1460530170?ls=1

The MEDIA CFO Podcast is hosted by Tobias Jaeger.
Website: http://www.tobiasjaeger.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tobiasjaeger
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tobiasjaeger


Editor — Christina Voigt (http://www.christinavoigt.com)
Audio Engineer — Athanasios Karakantas
Executive Producer — Bridget Scarr (http://www.bridgetscarr.com)
Design — Daniel Cottis (http://www.danielcottis.com)
Music — ‘Kickshot’ by Gyom (https://twitter.com/gyomamphoux)

Special thanks to everyone at Rushlake Media, especially Lena Werle and Christoph Mathieu, for helping to make this conversation happen. More special thanks go to Julia Häseker and Michael Henrichs.

Special thanks for their creative review go to Anouk van Ghemen and Frederik Jaeger.

Special thanks also to the team of Berlin‘s OffX Co-Working space, namely: Annika Wydany, Laura Schwarzer, and Isabella Schelder. If you are interested in a co-working or meeting space in Berlin you can find them at: https://www.offx.net/start

For comments on the show or if you know of someone we should interviews please send us a message to mediacfo@colibristudios.tv.


Media CFO focuses on the finance, strategy, business affairs, and legal side of the global media & entertainment industry. The guests on the podcast range from veteran studio executives to new, disruptive market entrants. MEDIA CFO takes a look under the hood of the global entertainment industry and talks to the unsung heroes: dealmakers, lawyers, entrepreneurs, financiers, service providers, bankers, investors, and agents. The podcast offers unique insights into the daily work and life of those, who run and build this industry by visiting them on location and having in-depth, in-person conversations.


Tobias started his first own firm during his studies at Maastricht University in the Netherlands and has lived, worked, visited, and studied in over 43 countries on 4 continents. Tobias loves to connect people from around the World to make great things happen. Previously, he has done so at Business Associates Europe, SAP AG, StrategosPoker, Aramark, and entrepreneur academy. Today he is a Managing Partner of AXIOM Venture Capital, a family office focussed on the media & entertainment industry and Tobias serves as the Chief Financial Officer of London-based television and content studio Colibri Studios.

The conversation was originally recorded in Berlin in February 2019.

© 2019, Colibri Studios of London

Media CFO

Stories from the frontlines of finance, strategy, business affairs, and legal in the global media & entertainment industry.

Tobias Jaeger

Written by

Entertainment investment banker turned CFO at Colibri Studios. Proud father and husband. Love all things media & entertainment industry, finance, and aviation.

Media CFO

Media CFO

Stories from the frontlines of finance, strategy, business affairs, and legal in the global media & entertainment industry.

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