INM and Larry Bass team up to produce online commercials

Joint venture between publisher and producer notified to competition watchdog

Newspaper publisher Independent News & Media (INM) has teamed up with television producer Larry Bass to establish a joint venture to produce online videos for brands and commercial sponsors.

INM and the Shinawil founder's new venture, Offscript Studios, will begin operations in September, subject to regulatory approval. The deal has been notified to the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, which has set a deadline of July 24th for submissions.

INM claims Offscript will be a “pioneer in narrative-driven branded and sponsored content”. It will produce, package and then distribute the videos online for businesses and brands, which INM says will be of “broadcast quality”.

INM says Offscript will also “power live social-media broadcasts”.


"We are very excited about Offscript's potential," said Robert Pitt, the chief executive of INM, which publishes titles including the Irish Independent.

“By offering brands the ability to create broadcast-quality content in a mobile and flexible manner, underpinned by unrivalled distribution and robust digital analytics, Offscript will be uniquely placed to challenge in the current market.”

The creative director of Shinawil Productions, Steven Courtney, will join Offscript from Mr Bass's company for the September launch.

“Offscript is a natural progression for Shinawil, said Mr Bass. “Taking our storytelling and production expertise to new digital platforms with . . . INM is an exciting development.”

The joint-venture company was formally registered in May, according to company records.

Mr Bass is one of the best-known television producers in Ireland. Shinawil’s credits include Dancing with the Stars, The Voice of Ireland, The Apprentice, Dragons’ Den, Home of the Year and MasterChef Ireland.

He previously served as a member of the board of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, from 2010 until 2015.

Mark Paul

Mark Paul

Mark Paul is Business Affairs Correspondent of The Irish Times. He also writes the Caveat column