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Former AmberFin CEO Jeremy Deaner joins BlissTek

TVBEurope talks exclusively to Jeremy Deaner and Bliss IP chairman Daniel Broch about their plans for the media technology industry.

BlissTek is expanding its media tech footprint with the appointment of former AmberFin CEO Jeremy Deaner to lead the company.

BlissTek is a division of Bliss IP (the creative force behind Everyman Cinemas) and oversees three branded divisions in media tech: Digital Vision World, R3store Studios and R3el.

Deaner has more than 25 years’ experience successfully growing UK-based software companies internationally. Most recently, he was CEO of AmberFin, guiding the company from start-up to becoming a global pioneer in file-based broadcast workflow orchestration before it was acquired by Dalet.

Speaking exclusively to TVBEurope, Deaner says he worked with his former CTO Bruce Devlin to thoroughly research Bliss. “Together we did some detailed due diligence about the underlying technology, what would you do with that technology, and where we can take that technology,” he explains. “Without giving lots away, there’s a lot of work that’s been going on and a lot of work to be done. That’s what excites me. I think what we have are core innovative tools that are used by the creatives in the industry and are the worldly bedrocks of what we have today and what we can take forward and create in the future. Now it’s about execution and how we manage the investments, etc, over the journey of the next 12 to 18 months.”

Jeremy Deaner

Bliss IP’s chairman Daniel Broch adds that Deaner’s appointment, and the new focus on media technology, backs up the company’s ethos of moving its focus from the process to the person. “It was that ethos that then led us down the road of asking how can we be part of our artists’s artistic lives?

Our vision statement is to enable everyone, everywhere to create incredible moving images, and that’s where we’ve shifted our focus. We’re incredibly excited and proud to say that Jeremy is joining in this group endeavour.”

Broch adds that one of BlissTek’s key areas going forward is to focus on some of the unsung heroes of the media and entertainment industry. “We’ve been thinking about how we can work with certain groups of people within the industry, for example colourists. People know film directors and editors, but colorists are an unknown thing to most audiences, and yet they are such a fundamental part of the artistic process. We want to support them to enable their work to be the best it can, but also try and celebrate that sector a little bit more openly.”

In fact, people are a big part of BlissTek’s plan for the future. “We’re a UK based organisation, we’re investing in UK infrastructure and UK people using assets that have been developed mostly in the UK,” says Broch. “But for us to do this we need people, so anyone out there with ideas, ambition and energy, and you like the cut of our jib do get in touch!

Asked which companies he sees as BlissTek’s competitors within the industry, Deaner cites Blackmagic Design. “Where we are at the moment, I think Blackmagic with some of their software products, which they give away for free, driven by their need to sell hardware, we see as a competitor. That’s driven some of the economics in the software side of the industry to a place which is very difficult to survive.

“However, we have something coming up,” he teases, “where users can use some of our key components within something like Resolve. So we see Blackmagic as both a competitor, but also as an opportunity to take some of our new tools to market and allow a broader base of customers, even though they may have chosen a different infrastructure.”

We are big admirers of Blackmagic,” adds Broch. “It’s pretty clear to us that what they are focusing on is how are they relevant to their customer base. The question is, how are you relevant to the lives of your customers, and that resonates with us because we believe in that. Blackmagic would be a good example of people that have innovated in this space. There aren’t that many examples of companies who are looking to properly innovate, and we want to properly innovate.”

Finally, what does Deaner see as his main challenges in the next 12 to 24 months? “If you take the pandemic as a given, for me it is executing the plan that we have put in place in a way that we can deliver value to our customers. We have been putting together a very clear vision about Cloud, how we want to help the niche that we serve but also how we want to broaden out and address the broader industry.

“The advantage that I have is that I’ve been through this before and I know how difficult it can be.”