Geoffrey Rush. But when it starts its tour of the US this month, this small Australian
company will truly have made it to the big time...."
Karl Quinn, Entertainment Editor for the Age, in online article January 6, 2013.
There are Profitable Niche Markets in the US Entertainment Industry
Success for Australians in the US entertainment industry conjures up thoughts of Hugh Jackman hoisting
a Golden Globe award above his head, but there is also a host of Australian companies which take
advantage of niche opportunities in American TV, film and theatre. The following are three examples.
Example 1: Seven Network Sells Its Aussie “Rules” Format to a US Company
Seven Network Australia sold the US rights to the format for its show My Kitchen Rules to Kinetic
Content (USA) in 2012. Note that Kinetic creates and produces “The Taste” cooking program which
debuted on ABC (American Broadcasting Corporation) on January 22nd 2013. Reality TV and cooking
shows are both crowded markets but My Kitchen Rules was able to demonstrate how its superior format
grabbed top spot on the TV ratings in Australia which encouraged Kinetic to make the buy.
Example 2: Independent Distributors Give Australian Movies a Second Life in America
Another success in 2012 was MouseTrap Films buying the US rights to the Australian film Face to Face
(based on a David Williamson play). MouseTrap Films finds movies that have won multiple awards at
international film festivals but have not been picked up by mainstream theatres. MouseTrap then releases
those movies across the US through a limited number of US theatres as well as through its website (FilmFestivalFlix.com).
Example 3: Australian Theatre Company Sells American Icons Back to America
An early success for 2013 is the Australian children’s theatre company Life Like Touring whose six month
American tour will include Madison Square Garden. The show appeals to US parents and children
because it includes familiar American characters from Sesame Street and Scooby Doo. Life Like Touring
has been building its success in Australia for over a decade and is now ready to carve out a niche in
the long tail of the American entertainment industry.
Lessons for Other Australian Companies
1. Demonstrate how your product is in line with current US trends.
Seven Network was able to tap into the rising demand for food-themed shows and could also show that
My Kitchen Rules had already shown success in another market.
2. Highlight your success in international markets to win over US buyers.
Face to Face had international film festival awards to give it credibility to both viewers and film distributors in
3. Speak to Americans in their own language.
Life Like Touring sells American icons like Scooby Doo and Elmo back to Americans. Trying to sell Australian
icons like The Magic Pudding, Ginger Megs and Ned Kelly would have been akin to speaking a foreign
language in America.
These are just some of the Australian companies participating in entertainment industry in the US. If you want to
provide input on other successful Australian companies then comment on this blog or send me a message
on Twitter (@simonboylen) or via email ( firstname.lastname@example.org ).