Headquartered in Ottawa, Gusto is the world’s leading producer of native 4k food and cooking content, available for television and digital platforms. Seen in more than 170 countries, its award winning series include One World Kitchen, Fish the Dish, The Latin Kitchen, The Urban Vegetarian, A Is For Apple, Crate to Plate, The Edible Roadshow, Licence to Grill and Cook Like a Chef.Podcast Transcript
Qasim Virjee 0:03
Don’t try don’t try try. Alright, welcome back to another episode of the start. Well, podcast My name is Qasim, if you haven’t listened to any of our editions before this, I am the founder and CEO of start well and today I’m joined in our studio at main campus here in downtown Toronto on King Street West with one of our members who hasn’t joined us before on the mic, but we’ve talked a few times in the halls about doing this. Now we’re doing it, we’re doing it. I’m excited for this conversation. So Cory Kaplan, please introduce yourself. Who are you?
Corey Caplan 0:47
Well, you’ve said my name. That’s That’s great. As a first start, my name is Cory Kaplan, and I am the Senior Director of International Sales for a company called gusto worldwide media.
Qasim Virjee 1:00
So it’s not gusto. Gusto
Corey Caplan 1:03
gusto. I think it’s whichever way you prefer to pronounce the word. Delicious. Gousto the Italian
Qasim Virjee 1:12
sounds so tasty. Delicious, is exciting thing, you know? Gousto but if it’s like gusto, it’s like it’s kind of fast.
Corey Caplan 1:18
No, no, it’s Gousto. Yeah, say? Say it with say with some some some passion and gusto and, and power. Right, right. So what do you know about gusto? What do you know about what did they tell you about?
Qasim Virjee 1:32
Tell me if this sounds correct.
Corey Caplan 1:34
Okay, let’s see how let’s see how well you do here.
Qasim Virjee 1:36
My scattered memory. Seems to have the story as a couple of years ago, there was a combined production company and television channel here in Canada that was launched called Gousto. That produced content akin to Food TV, food themed reality television, and, and essentially broadcast its own, you know, productions on Canadian television. Yeah. And that’s all I pretty much. Okay. Oh, wait, the curveball, of course, is that most recently, just before you joined us at start, well, the company separated the, if I’m right, the broadcast side of the business was segmented off to Bell Media. And then the licensing arm and content production arm is still together. And that’s what you work for.
Corey Caplan 2:30
I will I will clarify. I just I will clarify all of that. No, it’s not it’s not all wrong. I’m just trying to see how well of a job I did explaining the company to you. But now I will explain it in you know, much more elaborate detail for your for your listeners. So again, the company is called Gousto. worldwide media. The company’s been around for quite a while. So it’s actually no it’s been around in, in, in different forms for about 25 years. Oh, wow. And the company founded by and still run by CEO, and President and Founder Chris Knight, in which city is in Ottawa. So the company is based in Ottawa, right. And I’m working here remotely for for the for the company. But it’s been around for a while, and it’s always been in the TV production content and sales business. Here in Canada has produced a lot of different kinds of programming for various networks in Canada, the US and around the world, including unscripted series scripted series movies of the week, what have you. We have always been really good at food and cooking, television content and production and licensing. That is, you know, our, the food puns are going to run wild in this podcast. That is our bread and butter. At one point, the company said it was the primary supplier of content to to Food Network here in Canada, very intend. In 2013, the company was renamed gussto worldwide media. And well it before that, it was called Night enterprises. Now it’s called gusto worldwide media. And in December of 2013, gusto TV was launched in Canada, okay, and yours is
Qasim Virjee 4:40
four or five years, four years.
Corey Caplan 4:42
Yeah, so, so effectively, we were the company was a scrappy upstart that launched its own TV channel. Very impressive. In the sort of scope of Canadian television. You Adoption and broad tech casting had to jump the company had to jump through a number of regulatory hurdles to get that done with the CRTC, what have you, but the company was awarded a CRTC license. And if you want to ask me questions about that, I can sort of get into that a bit later. Yes. But we were quickly the channel is quickly established and known as a very sophisticated alternative to what we normally consider to be sort of the food or cooking channels that we all know, and, and love. And also an internationally minded channel as well. So sophisticated international high quality, the company also started producing programs and native 4k, you know, thinking ahead to the future of broadcasting, and to you know, producing content in the highest quality possible. And so the channel operated in Canada for a number of years, and with success, it was, you know, your rear became more and more successful. until 2016, when Canada’s largest media company, Bell Media, became our company’s partner, okay, and Bell effectively bought the channel from our company goes to a world and media, they licensed our brand. And the channel called gusto here in Canada, Goose Risto gusto here in Canada, is currently operated by Bell, okay, and all of its content is your con. So all as part of the arrangement with bell as they are our long term partners, now, we produce up to five Sorry, pardon me, 100, around 100, averaging around 100 hours every year of long form and short form content for the gusto channel. And gussto. worldwide media, our company owns this content 100%. And the international rights we own 100%. To, to license around the world. So because we’ve been producing content for so long, our catalog has around 500 hours of content that we explored the rights to around the world. And so every show that we produce, again, it’s in 4k out of our offices in Ottawa, and it’s all under one roof. You know, we’re a company that moves very efficiently, very nimbly, and, you know, isn’t afraid to, you know, sort of shoot for the stars when it comes to, you know, being in thinking ahead of in terms of how we can be successful in the modern production and distribution, worlds of of content right now,
Qasim Virjee 8:13
culturally, within the organization, what was the feeling? I know, you might have joined
Corey Caplan 8:22
after that, yeah, I’ve been at the company for about two months now. So from what
Qasim Virjee 8:26
you’ve learned, and how did people feel at, you know, Gousto, worldwide media, when, I guess when the partnership or details changed, like when, when the channel when the broadcasting side of the business was kind of, you know, handed over to Bell? Was that? Do you know, I mean, was that?
Corey Caplan 8:45
Well, I mean, what I’ll say, again, you know, this partnership with bell is, was, was it still is groundbreaking, yeah, in terms of an independent Canadian content producer, forming a long term partnership with the biggest media company in Canada. So that speaks to the power of the brand, the quality of the content that the company creates, and the, you know, future of the company’s growth. And, you know, speaking of the future of the company, you know, that’s kind of where I come in, in terms of international sales. You know, my job is to leverage our rights in a myriad of ways around the world and generate revenue, obviously from that, spanning from content sales. So the licensing of the rights of our completed programs, to international broadcasters and platforms and other licensees around the world to Channel Sales. One of the more exciting aspects of gusto is that because we have this experience as a channel owner and operator, you know, we know how to craft a fully, you know, rounded and ready to go. Linear channel and OTT nonlinear platform. We just launched in August, gusto TV, in Singapore, on a on the star hub. Okay? Platform. Yeah, we made a completely bespoke channel and OTT platform for them. And we are launching in the US with a number of digital TV providers. Ott over the top, which is a term I might have to define for people. So another, a number of digital live TV platforms are not sort of there, apart from you know, the bell, Rogers Comcast ‘s of the world on a number of platforms, called zumo, and Pluto, and, you know, with many more to come. So, you know, the channel sales component is one that we’re really focused on, we really want to grow this brand and, and take it around the world, because we know how powerful it is. We’ve seen how powerful it can be for audiences in Canada, and from our experience selling this content around the world. We know that, you know, our content, you know, really strikes a universal chord with people mainly because, you know, you there’s a physiological response, when you watch food and cooking content. Well, I was gonna ask about the so your catalog is how many hours? So we have roughly 500 hours of
Qasim Virjee 11:59
that’s a 25 year catalog, right? Or, like the history of the company. All the productions are in that catalog? Yeah, yeah. So
Corey Caplan 12:06
how much 25 years? I would say, you know, roughly from the 2000s to today. Okay,
Qasim Virjee 12:14
so how much of that catalog is food related?
Corey Caplan 12:18
The vast majority of the of the catalog is food and cooking content related.
Qasim Virjee 12:23
It’s very interesting. The company is called now Cousteau worldwide media. Yeah. You sell internationally? Is the content that is mainly produced in Canada, produced specifically for global audiences? Or is it Canada first, and now you’re selling it internationally?
Corey Caplan 12:47
The content is created for an international minded audience. So we are crafting this content, you know, obviously, to work for our partners at Bell for their channel and their strategy at the channel, but obviously, that’s, you know, their strategy is very, in line with with ours as well.
Qasim Virjee 13:14
Well, I think, I mean, I’m just loading the question. Yeah, answer. But like, I think content produced for Canadians as being this diverse, you know, population. Yeah, is, by nature, in a way a little bit extensible. In the foreign territories, people can relate to it because like, it’s created for diverse populations to watch and react to as long as right English. Well, Canadian
Corey Caplan 13:35
content producers, create some of, you know, the most successful content that’s seen around the world. I came from the kids TV world, before I joined the Gousto. Okay. And, you know, some literally the biggest properties in the world and the kids TV center at Paw Patrol is Canadian patrol. The number one thing Yeah, everybody, yeah, Paw Patrol, you know, the Spin Master property. Right, right there, you know, that’s Canadian, right? It’s made for Nickelodeon. And you know, Nickelodeon, you know, took it and made it sore and you look at that brand now, right? And you know, you you everyone knows Paw Patrol anyone who has a kid who’s met anyone and you know all they care about we want we want everyone who’s a who’s a food fan foodie and eat or whatever you want to call yourself to know the name of gusto that’s Gousto gusto however anyone who’s anyone anyone anyone and you know you know every every every every, you know anyone around the world however they want to pronounce it
Qasim Virjee 14:43
tell me about for you. When you’re at home. You’re you’re in the office a lot so I don’t know when you’re at home. You’re working those international calls too late in the night. Yeah,
Corey Caplan 14:52
you know, gotta gotta go hard got you got to do what you got to do.
Qasim Virjee 14:55
So what do you watch comes
Corey Caplan 14:57
along with the territory. What do I watch? Yeah. Okay,
Qasim Virjee 15:00
Amy, let’s start with the stuff that you sell of what you sell. What do you personally enjoy watching?
Corey Caplan 15:06
Oh man of what other stuff that I sell? Yeah, I, I took to this opportunity to join gusto because I am a self proclaimed eater and consumer and vivacious and passionate consumer of food and culinary related content. You know, I subscribe to bon appetit and eater. And, you know, loved watching the Food Network. I watched a lot of programs that that my company produced produces. You know, one program in particular, you know, as a kid, I, you know, I would watch endlessly called licensed to grill with Rob rain for they use their air on air. I think it’s hilarious, actually. Okay, oh, there’s no gusto now. Okay. But it was it was made for Food Network Canada, okay. And I’ve always just been, you know, so into the entertainment value of the culinary arts of food content, and the sort of the passion and a bit of like, the nerdiness. And the sort of sensational value. Yeah, you know, not sensational, like, big, loud, flashy, but I mean, like, multi sensory experience, the multi sensory experience, and, you know, and again, that’s where our content shines, you know, gusto, it’s, it’s, it’s, like, I was about to describe the sort of physiological response, you get to, you know, watching something cooking in butter. Right, right, you know, like, to see sort of just thinking of like, a melty grilled cheese sandwich. Sure, you know, what I mean, just like thinking of that, and sort of, like response you get in your head, when you start to picture, you know, something sort of gooey, gooey, and, you know, multi textural and, and delicious. So, you know, you think of that sort of physical response, we have to that kind of content, or just, you know, food in general, it’s, we all eat, we all need to eat, right, and, you know, combine that with, you know, entertainment, and, you know, you have a very powerful product, so I, you know, I love that I love this stuff, I always loved it, and they knew that I could really put myself into this role and, and, you know, part of, you know, content sales, this is television, so there’s, you know, you got my sort of philosophy, about being in this business is, you know, you gotta love it, you got to, you got to really have the minerals to, you know, to go for it to, you know, if you want to be successful in TV, TV sales, though, you’re saying yeah, I think that, you know, to be to be effective TV rights salesperson, in channels salesperson or to get co productions or to get, you know, Commission’s or what have you, which are all part of my remit and responsibilities off the ground, you know, you have to have that sort of inherent knowledge of why the content is as great as it is and right and why you personally love to consume it.
Qasim Virjee 18:30
Corey Caplan 18:31
nother food fun.
Qasim Virjee 18:33
Let me push the answer to that question, in turn, and then we can we can take a step back for a second, but like, yeah, the so is there. Are there specific shows other than licence to grill Other than that, well, I
Corey Caplan 18:45
love so many of our shows.
Qasim Virjee 18:48
That you watch this Snoop Dogg show? Is it Snoop Dogg and I haven’t seen the Snoop Dogg and Martha that was like, the only one that I had seen, you know, add as for right way and so on, right.
Corey Caplan 18:59
I think I watched Part A very successful show for sure. People, you know, you know, that they’re, they’re the big names in the in the food world that you know, everybody knows for sure, you know, Jamie Oliver and Ramsey and the big formats that everyone knows and loves that are sold into every territory and master chef and as shipped Jr. and, and you know, Top Chef or you know, whatever it was all your guys’s content, no, no, no. So you know, those are all formats that are sold by different companies. I believe MasterChef was sold by a company called Endemol out of the UK. But, you know, that’s the business that we’re into, you know, and we’re directly competing with the big guys and,
Qasim Virjee 19:43
like on the sales side, you know, what have you been seeing if it’s I don’t know if it’s a territory based answer, but what do you see the appetite for? Okay, so you’re right pictures of delicious things are awesome, and people innately connect to them. Well Whether they’re hungry or not, you know, whether they can afford the steak, you know, or or just the beans. And, and I think that universality is definitely what’s been driving the success of this kind of content in the last decade, right? What’s really interesting for me is to see the wealth of different types of narrative on this topic. So now, the fact that you know, there is, at least in Canada, you know, at least one second channel, which is, you know, the Gousto channel was the second Food Channel, I think in correct me if I’m wrong is more
Corey Caplan 20:33
on the TV set in Canada. Yeah, it’s actually a Food Network Canada, right. And you have Gousto right now, and I think cooking channel, Food Network and cooking channel are, are licensed by they licensed the brand from discovery used to be scripts, but discovery discovery bought scripts in the in a huge deal last year. So now discovery owns the Food Network and cooking channel brand. So yeah, in Canada, you have food or Canada, you have cooking, you have a cooking channel, and you have you have gusta on my belt. It’s super interesting to me, because and, you know, yeah,
Qasim Virjee 21:12
I’m the, the fact that there’s two channels, they’ll probably be more coming down the pipe as the content base increases, right. And then people are looking at like, this stuff’s not necessarily all temporal base. So you could kind of have shows that are relevant for 20 years on television. Yeah, the
Corey Caplan 21:29
thing with this content is that it actually does last right? It really lasts gets relicensed right. It gets repurposed. You know, it has a really long shelf life. So there are different fads in the in the sort of food genre that are like common go Titian stuff. Yeah, yeah, you know, competition, baking, you know, anything that has to do with kids. Kids, baking is a big thing, you know, really healthy content is is and healthy eating is, is something that we’re asked for nowadays,
Qasim Virjee 22:07
tourism, you know, this whole, like, we have to rewrite Anthony Bourdain, right, travel,
Corey Caplan 22:11
travel, and obviously travel and food is a perennial genre, that
Qasim Virjee 22:18
you guys have titles that are of that kind of genre, this idea of like going around the world exploring things,
Corey Caplan 22:23
our our, our audience, we are we are, we are in discussions with, you know, a number of companies, you know, on the sort of CO production side to make more of those kinds of programs for sure. And, you know, our our programs actually, you know, span, world cuisine, you know, like, I can just read off like a long laundry list of the, of the different cultural cuisines that are covered by gustas content. Yeah, you know, you have, you know, Lebanese you have Venezuelan, Cantonese, Japanese, Vietnamese, you know, you have like, you know, Southern barbecue. You know, I could keep going, I could just just just spent it spans the world, because, you know, that’s, that’s all we know, we know, the, we’re very intimate, we’re intimately familiar with our audience, and our audience is mainly female, around like, 68%. Female. Wow. And we know that, you know, we’re under, we’re sort of under 35. Okay. 35 and under, is the audience. Definitely, you know, sort of a bit of an older millennial age, but still connecting with that core millennial group that, that broadcasters are, are going are going after, right. And here, you know, I speak to a lot of different broadcasters, and, you know, they’re all rebranding refreshing, you know, to get to this very worldly, urban audience that it’s very interesting
Qasim Virjee 24:00
because, like, you know, I consume this content that wants it, right. And what’s very interesting because like, you know, you mentioned you throat ott 500 times there,
Corey Caplan 24:09
right. Okay. So let me just let me just back up on OTT I’m used to saying that 500 times a day, yeah. Over the top, OTT means over the top and over the top platform, like it’s so over the, the king of the over the top platforms, his net weight over the top just exploded. So over that be right, right? Yeah, of course, of course, over the top means any platform that exists on its own, that doesn’t belong to sort of a larger, like cable platform cable television satellite system. So Netflix is an OTT because you can get it on its own. The right
Qasim Virjee 24:50
so over the top of Bell over the top of what you know where it came from, for us, as far as I understand, yeah. From my little jaunt of three, four years. In the television business film business, yeah. And the OTT world running get filmed me, which is like a on demand startup for it kind of like Netflix for Bollywood that I ran in 2000. Right. 2010, maybe till 2014, something like that. But as far as I remember, it came from set top boxes. So the first box is for on demand content, the concept was pretty on your television, right? Yeah,
Corey Caplan 25:27
that that is where it started. Yeah, the setup, the setup boxes, is still sort of, you know, King, and you know, you have a number of, effectively OTT set top boxes, you have boxes like Roku nowadays, right, right, where you can still around Oh, I mean, you know, they they’ve got tons of content they’ve got interface
Qasim Virjee 25:45
has been so poor for so long. It’s terrible. And for the app development ecosystem, it’s a nightmare.
Corey Caplan 25:51
We all these companies are getting are getting better at this. And all of these companies, including Roku, are upping their game and and as more OTT players emerge, and many of them are emerging, because this is the way that consumption of content is going because it’s about the multi platform experience in Augusta, we’ve crafted our content, so that when we license a show to someone, the broadcaster gets to leverage the show on every single platform, oh, engage with to engage with their audiences on every platform possible. So we’ve created, you know, 1000s of short form videos that go along with our show over 1000 Short Form videos that go along with our shows. And, you know, everything’s in a sort of turnkey marketing and distribution package. So, you know, when you license a show from us, you get everything that your viewers would want to engage with the program. And because that’s what they want, right? We know that, you know, when it goes to break, when it goes to commercial break, you know, the, the digital platform spike, especially with with cooking shows, because they they’re trying to look up, you know, Oh, what’s this? What’s that? How do I get this? Where do I get that? How do I make this? How do I make that, let me see the recipe that if because I’m curious now, because I really have always wanted to make that in, you know, the host made this in a really interesting way. And I want to be able to, you know, make this for dinner for my family. So, you know, and again, the audience is folks that have fam, you know, it could be single people obviously, because, you know, young millennials love to cook, but also families as well, younger, young, young parents, who, who, who are, you know, want to make some, you know, kind of bold meal for their kids or, or, you know, even something, even something basic, you know, even even teach them some knife skills, even, you know, you know, run the gamut of, of, you know, different sort of tricks and recipes that that they can learn and utilize, it’s all about engaging with audiences on the platforms that they use the most.
Qasim Virjee 28:01
It’s very interesting, because this is the packaging of content from a content production standpoint, and licensing, that this approach is actually quite cutting edge. Not many production houses, at least right, my three or go kind of last update on this topic of film and TV. experientially, but like, not many people sell not just the rights to a particular asset, a film or TV series, but like tons of this supplementary pre prepared stuff, right.
Corey Caplan 28:35
It’s what gives our content more value. Yeah,
Qasim Virjee 28:38
right. And back in the old world, people would say, firstly, you said you cross media or a cross platform license, right? So I can get it for let’s say, I’m in Kenya. You know, I’d license your stuff for television for my OTT platform. That’s Kenya focused for my satellite thing, right? In the rural communities all at once. Right, right. Yeah, that’s huge. So that’s massive than the production of that stuff. Because historically, channels and people have always like spliced up content that they’ve licensed and then been in a weird gray area legally with the person they license from. The person that licensed it was like, well, you cut out the best part of this scene. And then you splice it with something that doesn’t even
Corey Caplan 29:22
make, right I mean, that gets into the sort of nitty gritty of contracting and licensing and sort of content usage and, and all that stuff, and you
Qasim Virjee 29:28
pre prepare it, then you’re you’re definitely kind of setting yourself up, right, that’s
Corey Caplan 29:33
what I was gonna say is, you know, you sort of you come at it with, with the, you know, idea of, when you make content with with the strategy of like, I’m going to make something that is gonna, you know, work for exactly what my clients need. Right? You know, thinking of it that way, instead of just like, I’m just gonna make this show And then make some extra stuff. Yeah, it’s not about making extra stuff. It’s about the package itself. Right? It’s about expanding that narrative. Right? Right. And this is where content producers need to go, right? You don’t just make a, you know, The Walking Dead. Right? You know, you don’t just make big brother, right? You make an experience for people. Right? How, like everyone is on their phones all the time. Everyone wants to be able to catch up on their shows, on their laptops, on their, on their tablets, on planes, on trains, on the street car, they want it wherever they want, whenever they want. And they want specific kinds of content whenever they want, right, they want to be able to watch long form, people do binge long form content. on their tablets, right? People even watch long form content on their phones when they’re in transit. Right. Right. So you know it. But the different types of content have different means and sort of goals and ends, right? You watch a tasty video on on Facebook, because it’s just there an easy right? What is a tasty like a Buzzfeed tasty video, I mean, we make this we make this content to just sort of like a quick, one minute hit of, of how to make something right. Like, you know, we make this those videos for the exact same reason, because, you know, we know that, you know, people are looking at different kinds of content for for different sort of, we should
Qasim Virjee 31:33
purchase some of those on our screens and internally here.
Corey Caplan 31:37
We’ll talk about that. Yeah.
Qasim Virjee 31:40
Like what’s happening in the East Wing event space? And then right, here’s how to make a little, you know,
Corey Caplan 31:46
SEO. It’s like you’re already trying to you’re already trying to buy content from me. I
Qasim Virjee 31:49
love it. I didn’t say I’m buying it. I said I could put it all right. All right.
Corey Caplan 31:53
Deal deals to be discussed. terms to be discussed. Awesome. I love it.
Qasim Virjee 31:57
Oh, man. Oh, okay. So let’s take a step back now and talk about you as a person. And how you got into this business. Yeah, sure. It’s great to talk about selling content and the merits of food related intelligence. Yeah. But I’m really intrigued to know how does someone combine their love of content and and salesmanship and get into the world of
Corey Caplan 32:22
TV? Right? So, I mean, really, it begins with me being a nerd. Okay, really, like I, I am, I’ve always been a voracious consumer of TV and movies. You know, like movies, starting from when I was like, probably three or four years old. Like I used to, like, I used to read the Toronto Star and read all the reviews when I was like, as soon as I could read, I would read movie reviews. And I would even, like, read the movie reviews out to my family. And I would watch like, hours and hours and hours of cartoons and, and, and, and movies and as a kid and I just became obsessed with, with media. And for years. I thought that like, Oh, I’m gonna go into filmmaking to be some sort of like writer or director or someday I don’t know, I have this like a creative streak in me. You know, I’ve been playing music for, like over, like 32 So like, like 20 years now. Okay, playing been playing drums and percussion for like, 20 years now.
Qasim Virjee 33:32
And you have a band right now.
Corey Caplan 33:34
Yeah, I play I play. I played a group.
Qasim Virjee 33:36
I do. I play listening, though. I play I play
Corey Caplan 33:39
in a police cover band. Oh, you may have told you that. Yeah, right now that’s the current gig and I have another little group with my friends. Bit of like a sort of jammy sort of band. But you know, I’ve always played music. I’ve always had this like creative Inkling in my body, I need to make stuff. You know, you and I were talking about like, you asked me if I make beats or whatever I love I’d actually just got into that, you know, just sitting on my computer and banging around with samples and you know, I have a huge vinyl collection and I a big vinyl digger. And I’m always searching for like really rare, interesting
Qasim Virjee 34:13
music to sample shop here in Toronto for vinyl.
Corey Caplan 34:18
In Toronto for vinyl, yeah. Rotate. This is an awesome, awesome spot. Cosmos east and west killer killer selection. Those are the ones on Queen Street, right? Yeah, yeah. Western recent Western, Eastern west of Bathurst. It’s like there’s some rare stuff but you know, it’s a lot of really groovy genres. And you know, we talk about hip hop talking about funk, soul, jazz, r&b, and, you know, international stuff from all around the world, you know, like Brazil, Japan, you know, everywhere. And where else when I recommend cops is always was great in Toronto, I gotta stay away from those places because I just like I just, I just, you know, it’s a horrible addiction, but it’s an addiction I love and it’s an addiction. That’s very satisfying. But so yeah, music and movie and movies and TV were just always been like a really important part of my life and, you know, they’re, you know, they’re in lines, the sort of nerdom, you know, you sort of get into something and you, and you really feel passionate about it, and, but the details of it, I think that’s where you become a nerd is where it is when you obsess more about the details, then the sort of like, you know, surface sensational pleasures of something, right. So, you know, the business side of it, you know, jumped jumped to university, and I thought I wanted to go into journalism, because, you know, as well as being a, you know, voracious media consumer. You know, I loved politics, and I love the news, and I loved history. And, you know, I felt like, I needed to do something, I don’t know, you know, you get to that age, late high school, early university, you get to be, you know, you start to tell yourself, like, I want to do something good with my life, I want to repair the world, I don’t know, you know, in, I’m Jewish. So in Judaism, you know, they call it Ticuna, lumber, you know, you know, heal the world, right. But I was freaked out by the folks that gave me a tour of Ryerson journalism program, okay. They instilled fear into me that, you know, that I would get into the program, and then fail everything immediately. within, like, you know, like, everything, everything is like redlined. And, you know, the assignments that you get our, our, like, you know, only for, you know, the most hardened, of, of, you know, sort of individuals that, you know, like, like to be a journalist is to like, is to, you know, go hard all the time for the story, right to grind all the time to, you know, to work the phones, like no other, you know, it’s actually an interesting interestingly, being a journalist, and a reporter, is a little bit like being salesperson, sure. But, you know, that same day, after I was like, you know, I filled my cup with, with fear of, you know, not being able to handle being a journalism student, a number of my friends were touring for the radio and television arts program, okay. And writers, and they, you know, they were telling me about, you know, all the different avenues of media that they could get into how, you know, it was a really specialized get specific program, if you want to get into radio, if you want to get into TV, if you want to become a director, or writer, producer, if you want to get into technical, the technical side of things, if you want to get into the business side of things, like if you want to get into media, this is it. And so, you know, that was a much more compelling proposition for me. Sure. Yeah. And so I got into the RTA program. And so I studied effectively broadcasting in school. And out of school, I did a bit of production work, I actually started my life in the TV biz doing unscripted production work. So like, I worked for a company called high fidelity HDTV, which became, which got bought by a company called Blue ant that Yeah, yeah, you’ve probably heard of blue it. And I did, I did a number of like, on set production work, jobs for them, I was a production assistant for them, and then became a researcher for themselves, like researching different segments to shoe, you know, doing all this sort of creative sourcing and research for them. And then sort of, you know, going out there and executing those segments with crew. And, you know, that was really the sort of start to
Corey Caplan 39:21
you know, my, you know, mindset when it comes to sales. You know, when it comes to like finding someone, how do I find someone, how do I get them in with me, right. And then I took another job working for a company called Summerhill where I ended up pitching a two liner to one of my bosses that ended up becoming a two hour special for the History Channel us. Wow. And I wrote this little synopsis for a show called like a special called the psychedelic history of the Bible. I just read the story about Moses being on Mount Sinai, that this professor wrote in his theory was that Moses was really high. So that got me thinking, Wait, like, if Moses was high mount Sinai, everyone must have been high in the Bible. Okay? So I wrote up this two liner, and it got pitch to history us. And they said, like, I’d love the executive who my boss was pitching it to you said, like, I love this. I love this, but I want to do the history of man and drugs. Let’s I want to make this big. Yeah. So it became, we brought in some US producers, and it became a two hour special called the stone age’s. That’s awesome. And so I became a story producer on that, and, you know, ended up sourcing and pre interviewing, and doing a ton of research on all of the topics and guests. That was kind of journalistic. And the Yeah, well, it followed in my sort of like the unscripted sort of world of sort of like, not news, but you know, like, documentary ask entertainment, entertaining content, right? That’s what it all was, it was all, you know, entertainment, but with the sort of, you know, informational edge or, you know, background to it, you know, learning about the world, right, you know, Discovery channel is all about, you know, learning about the world. So, from that I actually got into media media, as I got into stock footage licensing. Wow. Right. And that was like that became my main role was to license all of the stock footage for this documentary. Okay. And that gave me my, my sort of chops in the sort of contracting and licensing world. Yeah. And from there, I did a job at TVO doing visual research. And then from that, I parlayed into the distribution world, I had experience doing tech servicing. So I got a job at this company called portfolio, doing tech servicing indexer, just like delivering content, after deals are done, after licenses are made to broadcasters around the world. And, you know, I stepped into a role that was open at portfolio and started doing content sales, because I had a knowledge of licensing. And I had the chops to, you know, get in with people and to pitch them on an idea, or a product or a show. So I was a portfolio for five and a half years. And that leads me to gusto,
Qasim Virjee 42:31
man. And I think it’s an interesting time to be like doing what you’re doing. Because there’s all this like, I don’t know, I shouldn’t load it, you should just tell me, what do you think the nature of how is the nature of sales in television, evolving? As content itself is becoming something
Corey Caplan 42:55
the nature of sales in television, you know, it’s evolving to the point where, you know, has to be a 360 degree approach to the way you license content. So, you know, you’re never just thinking about, you know, the first deal you do in a specific territory. Right, right. It’s not, you know, and we think of things in a sort of territory by territory, context in terms of sales, right? You know, what deals am I doing in Philippines? What deals am I doing in Taiwan? What deals am I doing in Brazil? What? Right? So in that you have now a much more expanded scope of rights that you can license so it used to just be pay TV, free TV, and then starting in like the early 2000s. You know, VOD used to just be VOD. Yeah. Right. But now video on demand video on demand now. Yes, right video on demand. I’m so used to these terms. Yeah. And, you know, the, you know, there’s nonlinear, which is the video on demand when you can access programming anytime you want. Whenever you want to watch something, you watch it, and linear programming, which is, you know, you watch a TV channel, it’s programmed for you, you just turn it on, and it’s there. But the rights in the nonlinear side of things have, like exploded, you know, you have subscriber based video, all the business, you know, there’s so many business models now. And with the advent of these OTT platforms, you know, that adds another category to the nonlinear world. So you have subscription based platforms, you have advertiser supported platforms, you have transactional support platforms, like, like iTunes, where, you know, you buy something for 99 cents, but also in the OTT world, you know, you have linear TV, you have all those other business models as well. So, you know, you have to be thinking of things on this sort of much wider scale, right? If I’m doing this one deal with someone, right, what rights do they need from me? Right? Is this going to block a certain deal down the road with me? You know, Looking at gussto from a channel sales point of view, you know, I asked myself, you know, is that going to preclude any of our sort of bigger plans that we have to launch channels or to launch to launch an OTT platform? So you have to be very strategic, especially in my role with, you know, what, and how and why, and how much we’re making off of a deal?
Qasim Virjee 45:27
Well, that’s the other thing, because I think when you own the content, and you appreciate
Corey Caplan 45:32
it, that’s another thing. But yeah, ownership of the content is very important these days, it’s extremely important. Yeah, you know, we have distributors out there that are, you know, running and gunning, and just scrounging, you know, there, there are companies that are just distributors, content distributors, and they license the rights to distribute the content, they make an acquisition deal with a producer, they say, let me produce, let me sell this content for you. And, you know, with the amount of media consolidation that’s happening these days, you know, the big the big guys in Canada, in the US and around the world are all owning their own content. In Canada, we had a, you know, amazing, sweetheart, you know, you know, business for a long time in terms of television, wherein production companies could finance a show, through broadcast or license fees, through funding from the government, and also tax credit. So we, you know, instill in Canada, we have a very robust tax credit system, you could fund up to 35% of your show, you know, just by refundable tax credits, right. But now that these companies are, oh, want to own the content themselves, they’ll just produce it themselves, they’ll just fund it themselves, right? Leaving independent producers without a way to monetize on the back end, alright. gussto owns all of its own content. Right? We make it ourselves for ourselves for Belle, obviously, you know, it’s all in tandem with Bella. And, you know, and then, you know, we can exploit it in any which way, we want to, you know, via does that function sales or an ancillary is what happy.
Qasim Virjee 47:14
But does this also mean that you have a lot of flexibility in your role to do deals that would have traditionally, let’s say, 10 years ago, not been done because of pricing? Like, for example, I own a boutique hotel chain, we’ve got five hotels, and we want custom content. On our TVs, we want channels. Sure, we want content that we think is on brand. Yeah, sure, just that’s kind of a deal.
Corey Caplan 47:41
If I wanted to do a deal with Hilton, where they would like sponsor, you know, a gussto made show. Yeah, for example. Yeah, sure. Let’s talk let’s let’s look
Qasim Virjee 47:49
for sub brand. I’m saying like, like five hotels, not 500 or so
Corey Caplan 47:53
yeah, whatever. Sure. You know, you know, the sky’s the limit, we have our gusto has its own production studio, and everything is under one roof in Ottawa, right. You’ve got the, you know, corporate offices, production offices, you know, we’ve got our own test kitchen, and we’ve got a huge studio, where we make all of our shows, as well as post production, and master control and broadcast playout. So it’s all under one roof. We don’t need to outsource to anyone, because we can do it ourselves, which makes us very nimble, and very flexible in terms of the kinds of deals that we can do. Yeah, so it’s not just we don’t just need to do a deal with you know, the broadcaster, the free TV broadcaster in, you know, Bulgaria, you know, you can do a deal. Sure, with a hotel chain in Bulgaria as well.
Qasim Virjee 48:48
Right. Very cool. It’s exciting times.
Corey Caplan 48:51
Yeah, yeah, it’s exciting if you’re, if you’re, if you’re nimble and smart, and you know, understand that at the end of the day, you know, in this day and age people are consuming content ravenously right, the demand demand for content is is higher than it’s ever been right, because we have content at our fingertips. So you know, content producers and even distributors as well have to sort of have to approach this game from a from this sort of expanded approach to generating revenue
Qasim Virjee 49:37
uh, any particular recommendations for people that are independent content producers that are looking to sell you know, we see a lot of people kind of making things yes days and maybe they’re not tell you know, television grade 4k, but, but they have a following people that like create content on YouTube and I don’t just mean, like selfie videos.
Corey Caplan 50:01
I mean, those YouTube producers, you know, they called the YouTube money, right? Because they make it themselves.
Qasim Virjee 50:06
It’s theirs. Yeah. Right. It’s theirs,
Corey Caplan 50:10
own it own what you own. What you do is is, you know, a huge piece of I mean, the Netflix’s and Amazons, and whatever is of the world will pay you a lot of money, you know, to sort of have your content for a long time. And that’s a good business model for a lot of companies, because, you know, the fangs of the world are all getting into FA N G, you know, Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Google, I should know that apparently, you should know that. So the literally the biggest, you know, they’re the it’s called Fang, because like, they’re the biggest companies in the world. Yeah, they’re all in the content game. Clearly Netflix is in the content game, right? That is the that is their
Qasim Virjee 50:55
game. So a recommendation you have for independent content owners who are trying to license or try and make extra money off of their content asides from direct to stream or whatever would be licensed your content and use what you have to leverage the want from the marketplace for REITs. So sell it for a long period of time, because what the hell are you gonna do in five years with that same content? You might as well give it to someone who wants to lock it up, if they’re willing to pay for
Corey Caplan 51:23
it, if they’re willing to pay for it? Exactly. You know? But that’s, you know, that’s one way of looking at it, which is like,
Qasim Virjee 51:31
Are there any content producers in the food world that you’re seeing, not compete for market share, as you’re going around calling people? Or is that not even a is it a whole separate world, people producing their own content without us
Corey Caplan 51:47
I mean, it’s about the it’s about the brand in this world, right? When you think of the food content world, we think of brands, we think of Food Network, we think of eater, we think of Bon appetit. You think of tasty, and Buzzfeed, and, you know, people, people are gonna think of gusto and are thinking of gusto are already and, you know, that’s our company’s plan is to is to, you know, grow this brand into making it a, you know, internationally renowned and recognized brand, go to brand.
Qasim Virjee 52:25
It’s exciting. Yeah, no,
Corey Caplan 52:27
it’s, it’s a, it’s a lot of fun, it’s, it’s a lot of fun. And, you know, we have a lot of work to do, you know, it’s a definitely an amazing opportunity, and an opportunity to tackle a challenge like this, especially with the kinds of resources that the company has built for itself, that Chris has, has, has really sort of spearheaded and built for his company, over many, many years. And, you know, Chris is the, is the sort of brain of our operations. And, you know, his passion, really, you know, goes and, and is, inject into everyone that works for for the company. So, you know, we’re, we’re setting a super high bar for ourselves more, so we’re setting super high objectives for ourselves. It’s interesting here at start, well, you know, there are so many companies that are like, you know, doing their best to, to think in this way to move and to do business in exactly this kind of, with this exact kind of philosophy, which is like, like, we got to go big, we got to set this huge standard for ourselves, we got to be nimble, you know, we can’t, we can’t sort of let ourselves be pushed around by market forces, you know, we’re going to break the mold. Right. And that’s the philosophy of, of this company that I work for Augusta worldline media, you know, to break the mold to make something bigger and better and, and to see, you know, past whatever the sort of naysayers or the, you know, sort of traditionalists and in, you know, whatever industry you’re in, and in the TV industry, you know, we’ll we’ll be saying to you
Qasim Virjee 54:21
know, I’m glad you made that point. And I think it’s a lovely End Note is to talk about, or to mention, this idea that like, you know, we get into in the startup, the tech startup world, we’re often kind of talking about only tech startups, you know, yeah, whatever media gets created or whatever conversations on campus. The point of the matter is, and I like looking at this, the fact that you’re drawn to the space because you’re seeing this cultural fit, have really just innovative thinking about whatever problems people are solving. We want them approaching them with gusto
Corey Caplan 54:57
with Oh, wow, we got in there. That’s amazing. Yeah, approach it. Yeah, exactly. Approaching approaching life and approaching business with with gusto. Gusto, you gotta have the gusto to, you know, to succeed and to make it and in this world where there’s so many, you know, like, there’s so many players, there’s so many people that are that can make content. There’s so many people that can do you know, everything that software like software, right code blockchain technology, there’s so much blockchain in this in this office. Yeah, the thing
Qasim Virjee 55:32
is, there really is this, but the thing is, yeah, I mean, with the pervasiveness of, you know, communication technology with the internet, and massive, you know, bandwidth all over the world now, and 4g getting rolled out and 5g getting rolled out, right, it will only increase I think people’s capacity to create a relate to global markets. And that means more competition, but it also means for the true innovators of the way I get it, people who are actually going to create value that is unique, and do it in a way that’s expressive to market. Right, there’s a huge opportunity as well, you know, the market is expanding, whilst it’s also becoming more competitive kind of thing.
Corey Caplan 56:13
That’s what I mean, that’s what you want out of any business that you’re in. Right. So
Qasim Virjee 56:17
you want a little challenge? Yes, one opportunity?
Corey Caplan 56:20
Yeah. Yeah. I mean, like, you know, the opportunity, I think, and challenge go hand in hand. Right. And certainly, you know, I think it’s indicative of, you know, the content well, especially, because, you know, everyone talks about, you know, what, what’s Netflix going to do next, you know, and you know, you want your brand, you want people talking like that about your brand, you know, What’s gussto going to do next? I love watching these shows, you know, what’s next, you know, I’m going to call my, you know, I’m gonna call the people at the channel and be like, I love this show, give me more. Right? And, you know, it’s like, how do you create content that that makes people say, you know, give me more. And that’s, that’s, you know, that’s that’s the model. I think, you know, certainly in the content biz, you got a you got to strive for,
Qasim Virjee 57:11
well, I look forward to having you back again, maybe we’ll get some different types of content producers and people from back in your previous experiences different levels of content production. together to talk a larger narrative about, you know, multimedia, what’s happening with media in general? Sure, that’d be a cool conversation. But for today, that was a brilliant chat. I’m glad that you joined me in the studio. And I hope our listeners will enjoy it as much as I have. And are there any other closing notes that you’d like to let our listeners know about ways to reach you or things that your company are looking for you hiring or anything if you’re
Corey Caplan 57:48
in Canada, and you’re listening to this watch gussto We’ve got some brilliant shows, some of which that are, you know, we’ve got a amazing show that is going to be airing soon called DNA dinners, which is, which fuses food and genealogy? You know, you think you you think you know how to cook, grandma’s tomato sauce, grandma’s lasagna, you don’t, because, you know, we have folks that come in, and they do a genealogy test. And they find out that, you know, there’s a completely alien culture that has always been in their bloodstream for ages. And they learn how to cook the the meal of the food and the cuisine of, of that culture. And they present it to their family. So there’s a lot of emotion tears, and hugs, and delicious recipes. So that’s coming out soon. Stay tuned for that. And, you know, we’re doing a lot of additional episodes of our shows. You know, Bonnie Cheney’s Italy, season two’s coming up. And with Michael Bonacini, this is pretty much the most sophisticated, luscious Italian food program, cooking program you’ve you’ve ever seen in your life. You’ve sold that and more shows more and more and more shows featuring Spencer watts, who’s once one of our, you know, most charming and, and engaging hosts and we have a baking show called FlowerPower. As well, we have many shows, lots coming out. And you can check out, you know, for if anyone is listening to this, and they want to do business with us, go to our website at www dot gussto worldwide media.com and get in touch with us. And yeah, lots coming through the pipeline from from gussto Or we’re going big or going around the world. So yeah, thanks for having me. Calculus was fun, but don’t try