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Drive moves into distribution, strikes Netflix deal

driveTV funding specialist Drive has moved into distribution, launching a new division and striking a deal with Netflix.

Former Zodiak exec Laura Masson will head up international sales.

The sales arm of the company will be called Drive Media Rights. Its first sale is Ronachan Films’ doc First Contact: Lost Tribe of the Amazon, which went out on Channel 4 in the UK and has been acquired by Netflix. The US-based streaming service has taken worldwide rights to the doc.

laura massonLaura Masson (right), formerly of Zodiak and RDF, will be head of international sales at the new division, having joined earlier this year. Drive said she will be adding to the sales team.

Drive cofounders Lilla Hurst and Ben Barrett (top) have previously run distribution businesses, the former was formerly MD of TVF and the latter ran extreme sports and adventure distribution business Extreme International.

Drive said Drive Media Rights will focus on distributing factual and factual entertainment programming, with a full slate announced ahead of MIPCOM.

Drive was founded three years ago to help content companies secure copro and presale finance. Hurst said the move into content sales was a natural next step.

“Following three years of strong growth, our aim is to provide a 360-degree funding, sales and distribution business for the best independent producers and the time is right to expand into content distribution,” she said.

“Our experience of working with a range of funding models, together with our previous distribution experience puts us in a strong position to support producers in today’s ever evolving content market” added Barrett.