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Video Taxi (New Zealand) Signs Agreement with New York Production House

21 Oct 2019 - Auckland-based video subscription company Video Taxi has signed a franchising deal with a New York production house, as it seeks to grow its subscriber base.Video Taxi, started by veteran New Zealand television producer Ondrej Havas in June last year, creates on-demand videos for corporate companies. So far, it has 20 subscribers, including Woolworths, Westfield, Placemakers, and AA Insurance.

The company charges corporates $37,500 for an annual subscription for unlimited access to videographers and editors - dubbed "cabbies".

Video Taxi recently signed a licensing agreement with Brooklyn-based Casual Films.

Havas says the agreement has effectively created a franchise, and means the company will earn royalties from each client Casual Films signs as a subscriber.

"[It means] we have a piece of the action, of the work that they do in New York, we have also signed the same license agreement with a production company in Philadelphia," said Havas.

"A production company from São Paulo, Brazil, are flying out to see us in two weeks time, who want to be here and see the operation first-hand. We're also talking to a production house in Brussels, and I've had initial communications with a company in Moscow."

Havas said video was becoming more part of everyday communication for companies, which made Video Taxi's business model appealing.

"Video Taxi is about immediacy. With social media platforms, people are looking for video content very quickly, it's disposable, it might only be out in the public space for a short while. Traditional bespoke production doesn't cope with that very well, and it becomes really expensive."

Havas, who also runs a traditional production house, Omnicron Productions, and has had a long career producing television in New Zealand, claims Video Taxi has reduced the cost of video production by "at least" 50 per cent.

Havas co-founded Video Taxi with long-time colleagues, investing $25,000 in the idea, with the aim to speed up the process of creating video, and slashing the price.

Havas produced the television show Henderson To Hollywood for TVNZ, which won best reality show of the year in 2007.

Video Taxi employs four full-time videographers in Auckland, two in Christchurch and Wellington, and another in Palmerston North. The team is made up of around 10 people.

Havas said partnering with international production companies meant that Video Taxi was able to expand overseas without having to employ an international workforce.

By the end of next year, the company is eyeing a total of 50 subscribers in New Zealand and to have its franchise model at work in "most major western countries".

"We'd love to have somebody in Australia, in the UK, on the continent of Europe, and also on the west coast of America as well."