Mip Junior puts spotlight on VOD

CANNES: Mip Junior took off on 5 October at the tony Carlton Hotel in Cannes.

The spotlight was on children’s content as delegates discussed everything from tight budgets to the change in focus to Video on Demand (VOD) to the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

The first session ‘Money Matters: Finding Finance in New and Different Ways’, moderated by Debbie Macdonald consultant Debbie Macdonald and presided over by Snow River Media chief executive Angus Flethcher, concentrated on new business models, opportunities and challenges facing the independent creative and producing world.

“Technology has changed and so has the audience. The audience is moving dramatically from one platform to the other. There is an extraordinary revolution going on, and it’s exciting to be in the middle of that change,” said Flethcher, adding that though television could be scary, the good part is: “We can directly speak to our audience. Producers today need not make a half an hour or one hour series. Instead they can create a one minute video for the internet and get immediate feedback.”

He said content producers now had both newer entry points and people to talk to. Citing the example of Angry Birds, he elaborated: “The character was developed with a story, not as a series, but as a game, and it has done tremendously well.”

The first session stressed on the importance of the VOD platform. While it was the success of Netflix that made everyone think of VOD as a medium to reach out to audiences, BRB Internacional CEO Carlos Biern said, “Most important is the audience (kids), who can, with VOD, be glued to animation 24X7.”

Whereas the second session, ‘New Content Deal-Making: get the most of your VOD rights’, spoke about how the VOD platform could be utilised to reach out to audiences. Biern observed it could prove fruitful for advertisers as well while The Jim Henson Company executive vice president, global distribution Richard Goldsmith informed: “VOD is quickly becoming television. So while we look at VOD as a separate source of income, every time we have a conversation with channels, they also want to buy the VOD rights. This shows how important it is becoming for all of us.”

What emerged is that while Netflix and Amazon may continue to rule the roost, the remaining VOD players had to stand out from the crowd. “We want to become the only option in children’s tablets and smart phones. We all need to involve with our brands to be able to connect with our target group,” said Toon Goggles managing director Stephen L Hodge.

The key takeaways of the talks seemed to be that every show will sooner than later turn into an app and that SVOD will soon replace standard linear television.

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