Television

Mipcom Day 2: Licensing and merchandising takes center stage

CANNES: The licensing matchmaking breakfast organised by Mipcom on Day 2 in association with Publisher Kazachok was a novel networking session, which was as informative as it was an opportunity to interact with others from the industry. Kazachok annually publishes a comprehensive directory of companies involved in Licensing in France.

Speaking to Indiantelevision.com's sister concern Animation 'xpress, Kazachok Licensing Director Rob Watson said, "The objective behind organising the get together is to help producers who are starting out to understand how to fit licensing into their business strategy and to interact and network."

Sharing some basic licensing stats for France, Watson said, "The licensing business in France is about $ 5 billion. There are about 15-20 agencies that specialise in merchandising and 300 to 400 manufacturers and distributors."

To set the ball rolling the organisers assigned Licensing related themes to each of the tables, including topics like How to deal with multi national deals?, Why choose an agent? Why go the direct route as a license holder etc.

The tables were soon populated with delegates from many different countries consisting of a few agents and licensees while the majority were content creators.

Interestingly irrespective of whether they were from India or South Africa, from Netherlands or New Zealand, animation producers from across the globe were all optimistic about tapping in on Licensing and Merchandising, and as was evident from the conversations and discussions at the matchmaking breakfast, they all wanted to know more about how to crack this lucrative yet tough opportunity.

A few that were experienced and well acquainted with this business moved around passing sagacious advice:

    Its easy to get licensing deals in place if one has a strong broadcast or toy partner

    Producers ought to be careful while signing agreements with broadcasters who usually demand all of the rights of the IP

    Having a very clear idea about one's TG is necessary. Is the show for boys? is it for girls?

    The only time licensing professionals seriously consider a gender neutral property is in the pre school category

    80 of the L&M business comes from 5 segments including Toys, Publishing, Household Goods, Home Entertainment and Promotions.

One of the participants, Stephanie Lemasson, Business director, Creata which handles L&M for brands such as McDonalds and Kellog shared her criteria while judging the L&M potential of a show, "Does it fit in the profile of my brand, does the TG match? We also look at things like programming commitments, which means how long is the broadcast contract and whether it is to be broadcast on a channel with larger audiences? Who else is signing the show, Is there a strong toy brand on board?"

On being asked whether L&M potential is judged for characters or for shows, Stephanie replied that "it can be for a character, it can be for a show, the rule of thumb is that it has to be part of a child's everyday experience."

A great start to a day, which had some more on Licensing including the second Mipcom Junior Licensing challenge in association with License magazine.

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