Former ITV director William van Rest has launched of JEM Media Ventures, a new company aimed at helping businesses, brands and talent exploit IP, assets and unused inventory.

The new business will focus on helping rights holders commercially optimise their IP; finding IP for businesses to licence into their operations “leveraging existing fandom and audiences to develop new commercial products” and striking partnerships with advertisers and brands “integrating them into screen-based content, exhibitions, and experiential.”

At ITV Studios Global Entertainment, van Rest was most recently Director of Games, Live & Merchandising, and held several senior commercial director roles during his 17-year tenure, as well as spending interim periods as Managing Director of and Editorial Director of ITV’s digital content studio. He was originally hired by ITV as a Controller to oversee the late night ITV1 schedule, alongside a dedicated digital channel and games web site which generated over £20m profit in his first year.

His other successes at ITV include commercialising Love Island (over 1 million personalised water bottles sold, over 25 million installs of the show’s mobile game), welcoming over 1 million visitors to ITV’s production sets (Coronation Street, Emmerdale), selling over 600K tickets to live tours and events such as The Big Reunion and Ant & Dec’s Takeaway on Tour, creating a network of 17 Ninja Warrior Adventure Parks around the UK with over 3 million visitors to date, and the growth of ITV’s UK YouTube channels.

Prior to ITV, he co-founded The Optimistic Network and has held roles at BSkyB and Fremantle Media and its predecessor, Pearson Television.

Will van Rest says: “Typically, rights owners spend most of their energies getting their shows on air or projects off the ground and then move on to the next idea. But with today’s budgetary and commissioning challenges it’s never been more vital to explore and properly maximise the long tail value of what you already have – and that’s where JEM Media Ventures comes in. We understand the power of both content and personal brands and know how to extend and manage them off-air in a wealth of innovative ways that drive meaningful interactions and new levels of engagement – as well as important new revenue channels.

“There are also a wealth of non-media brands and companies out there looking to tap into the potency of content fandom and audience loyalty. We are well placed to work with them too, driving mutually beneficial new partnerships. Our strategic and creative thinking, combined with an extensive network and experience in numerous sectors, allows us to support IP holders of all sizes and types, and at all stages of a brand’s journey, in addition to helping businesses licence in and optimise IP.”

Jon Creamer

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