Television

'We will bend over backwards to be user friendly to new clients from India' : Natpe president, CEO Rick Feldman

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Natpe, the US-based media marketplace organiser, is now turning its sights toward the critically important markets in South Asia. It is working with a Mumbai-based team of Murtuza Kagalwala overseeing business development to raise its profile with Indian buyers and sellers of content and to attract more Indian and Asian attendees to both Natpe Miami and Natpe Budapest.

Indiantelevision com‘s Ashwin Pinto caught up with Natpe president, CEO Rick Feldman to find out about Natpe and what it offers Indian companies.

Excerpts:

Could you talk about the services that Natpe offers the media and entertainment industry?

Natpe is the global content marketplace for a digital world. It is strongly committed to being the destination for TV programme buyers and sellers. Evolving to meet the demands of a changing media landscape, Natpe delivers a first look at fresh content before Mip and the LA Screenings, giving industry leaders a jump-start on monetising their projects.

Now, in Miami, a major international destination, Natpe is a catalyst in the content revolution - providing thousands of chances to make a deal. Celebrating over 45 years of service to the ever-changing international televisionindustry, Natpe continues to redefine itself and the services it provides to meet the needs of its members. Today‘s industry encompasses more than ever before and Natpe has remained flexible in its effort to encourage and support the progress of the industry and all of the platforms it now serves.

What has remained constant is Natpe‘s commitment to keeping the industry appraised of the changes occurring daily in the global media environment.

Natpe implements its mission by providing the multiplatform video industry with education, networking, professional enhancement, vibrant business environment through Markets and technological guidance through year-round activities and events. The organisation also offers a full complement of online services including access to a database of industry executives to anyone interested in learning more about the digital video industry.

How has Natpe expanded on its marketplace Content First?

After operating independently for 15 years, Discop East was acquired by Natpe in 2011 as part of a continued strategy for expansion within the international arena. The market has now become Natpe||Budapest and will take place from 26-28 June, 2012.

What prompted the move from Las Vegas to Miami and how has this helped?

After 10 years in Las Vegas we felt it was time for a change. Miami Beach and the Fontainebleau is an international destination that is much better for our international attendees and a welcome change to our US attendees.

What is the theme of Content First next year and how is it different from previous years?

Natpe||Content First is always our theme - to feature and support the creation, distribution and funding of original global content and it will remain the same in the coming years as well.

What has remained constant is Natpe’s commitment to keeping the industry appraised of the changes occurring daily in the global media environment

What sort of participation is expected for next year‘s event in Miami?

At Natpe 2012, we expect over 5000 attendees to Natpe Miami. About 70 per cent from the US and Canada, and a cumulative presence from 70 countries. We are a market that is smaller than Mipcom but larger than Budapest.

Many of the sellers that are at Mipcom are also at Natpe||Miami, but we have more content being bought / sold in the US / Canada / Mexico and Latin America. We can‘t say what content is most in demand, as each platform has unique needs. But, at Natpe both packaged content and format content is bought and sold.

As we are an international, multiplatform market, we have many people from the ad and digital world at Natpe. So in addition to buyers and sellers, we have producers/agents and all matter of creative/funding/and distribution types at our market.

Who are some of the big players who will be present?

There will be companies from various sectors participating at Natpe 2012, some of the key industry players which make their presence are as follows:

Traditional Entertainment: ABC, CBS, Comcast, Discovery, FremantleMedia, Fox, Globo, Hearst, Lionsgate, MGM, NBCUniversal, Shine Group, Televisa, Univision, Venevision, Warner Bros.



New Platforms: AOL, Google, YouTube, Yahoo! 



Investment: American Express, Nomura Securities, Credit Suisse



Agents: APA, CAA, ICM, WME, UTA



Ad Agencies: Carat, Digitas, Group M, Mediaedge:cia, MediaCom, Ogilvy 



New Media: Facebook, Demand Media, Hulu, iTunes, Netflix , SeamBI, Stickam, Tremor, YuMe 



Technology: AT&T, Adobe, HP, Intel, Microsoft



Electronics: LG, Motorola, Panasonic, Sony



Research: ComScore, MediaLink, Nielsen, PricewaterhouseCoopers, SNL Kagan, Rentrak 



Global Brands: American Express, Audi, IKEA, P&G, Pepsi Co., Saban Brands,



Subway, Wal-Mart

The list above is just a representation of the attendees, where Natpe is expecting over 5000 attendees from all over the world in 2012. Attendees from North America, Latin America and South America, Europe, Asia and other parts of the world will be seen for various engagement purposes like joining, attending, exhibiting, advertising, networking, experiencing and sponsoring at Natpe.

There are buyers here in the States that will not be at Mip and for the Indian market we think that Natpe||Miami is a better fit than the two events in France.

Could you give an idea of the effort and time it takes to organise each edition? How far ahead do you have to plan? 

Planning for Natpe||Miami and Natpe||Budapest is a year-round activity. We look to build each year upon the growth and opportunities we see at each market.

Whether it‘s booking speakers, working with programme distributors to book their space or developing new partnerships with media around the globe or keeping our web sites fresh and up-to-date, there is always something to do.

To what extent have you and your clients been affected by the on-going economic downturn? The US is one of the worst hit countries along with Greece and Spain.

Yes, the world is grappling with many economic issues…but positively the ad spend in the US continues to be strong.

I think that so far the economic downturn does not seem to be hurting the transactional video market place. I am not sure why, as one would think it might. Our numbers are consistent with last year, so for now, so far so good!

How is digital impacting the business and what steps has Natpe taken to address this? 

All over the world, the distribution of content is a major topic of conversation. Band width and technology is only going to make the opportunities greater, certainly in India too. Each country will get to various places at different times, but there is no doubt that more video content that people want to watch and pay for will be created in the near future than ever before.

What is the USP of Content First vis-a-vis other markets like Mipcom, Nab and ATF?

Natpe delivers a first look at fresh content before MIP and the LA Screenings, giving industry leaders a jump-start on monetising their projects. Now, in Miami, a major international attraction, Natpe is a catalyst in the content revolution - providing thousands of chances to make a deal.

Natpe||Miami is the only global marketplace for the buying and selling of content that takes place in the US each year. Nab is not a marketplace for those involved in producing content. It is instead a place to go to see recent advances in the technology of broadcasting and for channels to purchase equipment.

ATF is primarily a market in Asia for Asia - as we have stated Natpe is the only global marketplace based in the US that brings buyers and sellers from around the world.

How detailed is the seminar at Content First?

We offer more than 50 sessions with over 150 speakers across the three day conference which runs along with the market.

The focus is on the creation/distribution/funding of original content. Most of the speakers are from the US. However we also have speakers from Latin America and Europe on the panels.

Could you talk about the importance of India for Natpe?

I would rather talk about how India will benefit from Natpe 2012 and going forward at all Natpe platforms.

From an Indian broadcasters‘ point of view, they will meet all the world‘s content owners and will learn how broadcasters all around the world are operating in this creative and economic climate. There is also an advertising and digital track that will provide ideas about how best to monetise content.

The idea of the market is to see what is happening around the world, especially in the US/Canada/Latin America for the rest of the world. The South Asian market is a small but growing part of our business. But India especially has so much potential here and around the world because of your production infrastructure and common language.

The idea of the market is to see what is happening around the world, especially in the US/Canada/Latin America for the rest of the world.

What is the strategy going to be to create awareness in India for Natpe?

We have hired Murtuza to help us navigate the Indian market and provide specific outreach and information that will help those considering attending from India see the value of this market and conference.

Contentino Entertainment is a content management and acquisition company owned by Murtuza Kagalwala. Murtuza had approached us a few months ago via email, and impressed us well. India is a big place and far away, and Contentino will help us extending our relationships with content sellers, buyers, content aggregators and other interested audiences in the country.

With having someone like Murtuza with his vast experience in this digital field, talking us up is a positive for us as he is there and well respected.

Some Indian broadcasters go for the LA Screenings. How will a presence at Natpe as well benefit them? 

NATPE||Miami is the only global marketplace for the buying and selling of content that takes place in the US each year. LA Screenings is primarily an opportunity for the major US studios to showcase new programmes about to launch on U.S. stations. It is not a comprehensive market as only some of the US and very few of the international program distributors are at the screenings.

For Indian/English content, I would think that it would be wrong to ignore the largest TV marketplace based in the US. We have the only market place in the largest market in the world and deals get done. You never know what you miss when you don‘t come. It is THAT meeting that you have with someone you didn‘t even know existed that is the magic at Natpe.

In the past what sort of participation has Natpe seen from India and what kind of business growth are you looking for from here?

In the previous years, Natpe saw participation from leading players like Star India, Shemaroo, Miditech, Accel Animation Studios, Cellcast Asia Holdings amongst the other few, whereas this year we are looking at more attendance from across industries like, film, broadcast, digital etc for both our summits combined Miami (Jan 2012) and Budapest (June 2012).

And with respect to business growth, India as a country, for sure, we believe, has immense potential for its ever growing innovatively conceptualised content globally, where the fraternity attending, exhibiting have the best of opportunities to meet representatives from varied platforms from across the world, utilising our arrangements available to facilitate the best deals during these three days.

You also have Natpe Budapest. Will you be looking at doing an event in Asia for the Asian market?

We currently do not have plans to set up an expo in the Asian subcontinent.

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