Content Markets and Venues: Going, Going, Where?
FUTURE-FORWARD, WHERE (OR WHAT) NEXT?
We’ve heard it said before, location is everything. From my point of view [pun intended] PERSPECTIVE is everything. 2013 marked the 50th year of France’s MIP market this past April. Boasting over 200 speakers at special sessions, there were 78 new exhibitors, including The Weinstein Company. Deciding to open my own vistas beyond the animation and kids business (since they were noticeably light compared to the targeted genre event Kidscreen Summit), I literally was “wowed” with what Reed MIDEM is up to, in 2013 and in looking forward.
Since MIPTV’s launch in 1963, 50 years later, the mission remains the same – the MIP market is all about looking forward. MIP remains a key meeting place for the international TV community, to buy and sell, and for more than three decades of ongoing coproduction meetings, critical for financing television.
Today’s market is still firmly focused on content development and co-production for all genres. Additionally, Garaude pointed out that now the documentary community and the format specialists are integrating in the “ecosystem” with the MIPCUBE community.
MIPCUBERs (a more apt or obvious name would have been MIP DIGIS) are the newest contingent to start attending MIP on a regular basis. MIP organizer Reed MIDEM sees to it that these new tech specialists, internet players, app developers, ad agencies, brand developers and venture capitalists will become regular customers, a natural part of the ever-evolving entertainment industry.
Commenting on MIPCUBE, Roberto Mitrani, Managing Director of Ypsilon Films, Spain offered his experienced seller/producer POV. “[The] challenge is that there’s still not a clear definition of mobile and internet opportunities, it’s not predictable enough of a new venue, for new revenues. So we all essentially still need broadcasters. Unless webisodes take on a greater significance, TV is still the main goal to get to the audience. From Spain this MIP, there’s only four major indies in the animation sector attending MIP. But what’s really the worst of all, with the transition state we are all in, there’re some broadcasters, who are no longer paying license fees. No wonder there’s less people in the markets, there’s less money!”
Staying sensitive to market shifts, Garaude sums up how and why MIPTV will be around for the next 50 years. “Being innovative is in our [Reed MIDEM] DNA. We’ve been doing it for 50 years. What’s really important is to bring in new parts of the eco system. There’s a need to connect, a need [we have] to include the most anticipated upcoming premieres, such as Defiance [a TV series and game] with it April 15 premiere in USA on SyFy. It already has 216,000 Likes on Facebook. An ambitious transmedia project.” She goes on to pronounce how many more stars attend MIP than ever before, even Gene Simmons from KISS participated at MIP 2013!
Staying ahead of the curve must be tough for these events. But they must be money makers too. After all, new ones are popping up all the time. If you’re into animated content, maybe you can be innovative too and check out www.streammarket.tv (L.A. June 3 and 4). Or if you’re more Euro-centric, Reed MIDEM’s launching LE WEB LONDON - www.leweb.co (try out the promo code: MIPTV).
The best indicator just might be these two new markets. The organizers of STREAM? Same as KIDSCREEN SUMMIT. And LE WEB LONDON? Same organizers as MIPTV. So let’s do our homework, the majority of us cash-strapped as we are, and pick and choose our market participations well. We need to be confident, know what “we got” and where to flaunt it! Smell the money. And watch those costs.
Catherine Morrissey writes regularly for AWN about the international animation industry.