BAFTA and Oscar-winning Off the Fence unveils new strategy

January 2021 saw Bo Stehmeier rejoin leading non-fiction content company Off the Fence as CEO. Since his arrival, Off the Fence has gone from strength to strength, with an annual output of around 50 hours of content and winning a much-coveted Oscar for feature documentary My Octopus Teacher. The successful development of the company as a “go to” destination for content is now evolving to meet the new needs of the ever-changing industry landscape. 

 Building on its reputation for great access to people and places, solid industry experience and fresh ideas, Off the Fence’s new strategy will focus on three core content pillars – Yesterday (History) Today (focusing on our relationship with ourselves and the planet: Natural History, Travel and Adventure, Lifestyle, Crime, Impact) and Tomorrow (Science) across three business models – OTF Originals, OTF Studios and OTF Fast

A key part of Off the Fence’s new strategy is investing deeper into IP and future proofing the technology that supports it. OTF Originals will tap into Off the Fence’s expertise in securing unprecedented access to far flung locations and incredible talent as well as its experience in producing compelling hybrid content to make productions relevant in the streamer world. OTF Originals will continue championing diversity in narratives by producing atomic, long form content and feature documentaries by blending the core genres of Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow . 

OTF Studios will trade, co-finance, pre-sell, create, distribute and commercialise premium content across the three pillars. The studio will bring in third party producers as well as work with Off the Fence’s own production company to produce content. OTF Studios will also invest heavily into rights. 

As data is becoming key, it has never been more important to be agile and fast, not only to stay on top of the demands of traditional clients but also to fulfill the needs of new business models. OTF Fast will specialise in super-serving the traditional business models, enriched with data needed to feed the new algorithmic driven ecosystem.  

Off the Fence’s CEO  Bo Stehmeier  said: “It is an exciting moment for Off the Fence.  After 27 years of solid trading and now strategically backed by a perfectly aligned mothership, ZDF Enterprises, we are in the perfect position to bring the best of non-scripted story telling to the world.  

Broadcast Beat - Production Industry Resource