Media preservation and archive company Iron Mountain Entertainment Services (IMES) has opened a new facility in a suburb of Paris on Thursday as it continues its global expansion.
IMES’ mission has been described as serving as a Fort Knox to safeguard and preserve companies’ digital and physical archival assets. Its clients include studios, networks, media companies, estates, actors, musicians and athletes. Especially in the digital age, it is pitching itself as a partner for companies to preserve, store and digitally restore their “archival goldmine” that can be used or licensed for new purposes – from films and news footage to music videos and performances.
For example, IMES’ website mentions how the documentary The Bee Gees: How Can You Mend A Broken Heart, produced by White Horse Pictures, debuted on HBO in December 2020. “The IMES team digitized and transferred historic Bee Gees video from the early ’70s through the mid-’80s, including interviews, home movies and various TV performances, as well as a film format concert,” the site touts. “Overall, the team transferred 200 videotapes in various obsolete formats, 40 audio cassettes and 23 film transfers of Regular 8 and Super 8 format.”
Or take the 50th anniversary of hip-hop this year as an example. “Digital preservation is an example of how we make sure it’s here for the next 50, and that the first 50 are not only safe but helping shape the next 50, 100-plus years,” an IMES representative tells THR.
An expansion around the globe to support existing and add new clients has therefore been part of IMES’ strategy, which the new French storage space is continuing. Last year, for example, the company added three sites in the U.K., citing “growing demand” from “both new and existing customers.”
The firm said that its 17th facility, in the Paris suburb of Pantin, will be its most state-of-the-art location in France, “offering international media clients greater access to asset preservation services.” It includes climate-controlled media storage and private vaults, something not available at the firm’s other European sites.
“We are thrilled to be opening our newest media storage facility in Paris at a time when our entertainment clients are actively mining their content archives for monetization opportunities,” said Hanna Balouka, IMES’ head of sales, France.
“For over 20 years we have trusted IMES to archive and preserve our most valuable physical assets, and that relationship has evolved to help us in transforming our assets from physical to digital to ensure the long-term relevance of our content for future generations of fans,” Albert Sellem, director of operations at French media conglomerate Vivendi’s pay TV giant Canal+, one of IMES’ clients, tells THR. “Their innovative digitization processes provide quick-turn access to content with the highest quality standard.”
IMES, for example, touts its “Smart Vault” capabilities, which allow clients to store assets digitally and access metadata they need to mine and monetize their assets for future projects.
The company also plans to push into NFTs in the future. “Over the past year, we have been exploring new NFT-centric business opportunities and are actively designing, prototyping and testing new offerings designed for the entertainment and fine art industries,” its website says.
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