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Highlights | Interviews

INTERVIEW WITH GUY FINLEY, MESA AND CDSA

11 Jan - 2024

Tags from the story: CDSA.

CDSA, the Content Delivery & Security Association managed by MESA, launched «Spoiler Alert», a new resource that aims to provide security guidance for the IPs’ management. LM interviewed Guy Finley, CEO, MESA and Executive Director, CDSA, to learn more about CDSA’s goals and future plans.

You’ve worked in the entertainment industry for a long time. Could you please tell us a little bit about your background?

I’m a creative and a business person. I started my career in entertainment as a musician. I made a record with the famous producer Phil Ramone, but with my band, I have not had much success.

When I was living in Manhattan, my beloved grandfather passed away. He was dealing with licensing the VHS logo trademark in North America with his company Larry Finley Associates. I carried on with his work, I had to negotiate contracts with the the 50 companies in North America, becoming Finley and Associates.

But things became interesting after my company joined IRMA, the International Recording Media Association. And that’s where I started with Mesa, using Blu-ray.

How and why are MESA and CDSA related?

I founded the Mesa (Media Entertainment Services Alliance) in 2008, and it all began with home entertainment. Mesa started actually to grind the last bits of profitability out of the DVD supply chain.  It started with an event called ESCA, the Entertainment Supply Chain Academy, which we did in Los Angeles, New York, London, and Prague, and was followed by numerous requests from commercial partners throughout the year.

CDSA, the Content Delivery and Security Association, contacted us at one point because they were looking for someone like us who was interested in merging commercial difficulties with creativity and who could administrate the association.

Mesa works as the CDSA’s business manager, so we provide it with staff, marketing, and business management services. We help them with their vision, strategy, and eventually their entire business throughout the year, and we organise events like the Content Protection Summit, which is held in April in Las Vegas and December in Los Angeles.

And what is the exit goal of CDSA?

When we took over CDSA in 2010, they had an audit programme in place that required them to inspect facilities to guarantee they were secure for its entertainment content partners. As a result, we were able to build the Motion Picture Association’s trusted partner network. We did it for five years and helped organise the industry around it.

The CDSA’s current mission statement is to protect content such as video games, music, and entertainment content as it moves through the supply chain. Its true community goal is to bring people together to solve the day-to-day problems that happen in every studio and vendor.

They have working groups that handle issues like streaming device security, or others such as the copyright and licensing working group, that partnered with me on the spoiler alert project.

What is the target audience of the CDSA, who you are talking to, and who are your members?

It is mostly comprised of partners from the global entertainment supply chain. All of the big studios are currently members, including Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Paramount, Warner Bros., and Disney. There are also toy companies such as Lego, Hasbro, and Funko.

Your campaign also includes the toy industry…

There are various factors to consider in the toy sector. And, if you think about a Lego box or a Funko toy, you’ll realise that it takes a year or 18 months to have that product created at scale.

When you get it to retail, you’re going to have to wait on it and not open it until a certain day. This date may coincide with the release of a film or a specific campaign. In comparison to the past, you must now be considerably more cautious because social media allows news to spread quickly and can harm business.

What are CDSA’s future plans?

We will keep working on the Spoiler Alert project. Right now, we’re discussing some online gamified training, an ambitious project with a big target audience. It will take us a few of years to roll this out for the industry.

However, we will continue to attend events such as the Licensing Expo in June 2024.  We’ll most likely have a larger presence at the Toy Fair and other Fall trade shows, and we’ll also be at the NAB and IBC trade events.


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