Mipcom keynotes celebrate power of the great story

CANNES: Taking the cue delivered by CBS Corp. president and CEO Leslie Moonves at yesterday's opening day main keynote, today's keynotes harked on quality content as becoming ever more critical in a digitally enabled world.

United Artists CEO Paula Wagner and NBC Entertainment NBC Entertainment & NBC Universal Television Studio co-chairman Ben Silverman both stressed on how important quality content would be in a world of infinite choice.

Wagner pointed out how global box office receipts of American movies were worth $ 26 million last year, a growth of 11 per cent CAGR. Not surprisingly, more than two thirds of revenues from the movie business came from international markets.

Wagner pointed to the days of the captive consumer being over and which in turn necessitated ever higher spends on marketing and distribution. 

Wagner, who with business partner Tom Cruise reached a deal last November with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer to take over United Artists, said her studio was committed to promoting original and daring commercial projects that would have one key underpinning - great storytelling.

Wagner made it clear though that these were business propositions so there had to be clarity on the finacial aspects of any project that UA would undertake.

Creativity with financial discipline would determine their business model, Wagner stated.

Following on her talk on the movie business was Silverman who declared that his network was committed to and believed strongly that what would work was content built for the global market.

Silverman cited the Bourne movies as an example of cinema that has an international outlook in terms of cast and shooting locations. He pointed to how that kind of international outlook was also coming into his network's shows with more characters from the UK, India, Japan, China, etc having important roles in the shows that were being green lighted as well as those already on air.

As did Wagner, Silverman also noted how important it was to help foster creative vision and ensure the servicing of creative voices.

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