Close Curtains come down on Mipcom 2013

CANNES: Mipcom 2013 drew to a close yesterday after one week of frenetic activity. Even as buyers, sellers and exhibitors bid adieu to the world’s largest content market amidst plans to meet again the coming year, a panel of independent experts got together to summarise 2013’s hottest trends.

Yummico co-founder Traci Paige Johnson observed that digital has changed the way content is developed and consumed. “There is a new trend: content producers can create pilot projects, put them on the digital medium and test for audience response. With digital, there is also an explosion of where the content can be put,” she said.

Paige said the need of the hour was to keep devising ways to offer more and think about stories and characters digitally though ‘Content’ still remained the king. Content producers especially faced the challenge of connecting digitally with children.

A key takeaway was that everybody is now looking at bolder and newer ways to package and sell content. As FTI consulting managing director Mary Ann Halford pointed out: “Content producers are now thinking ‘out of the box’. And that’s because the consumer is consuming content from everywhere.” Halford further said that Netflix and Amazon had made producers competitive. “This outburst will lead to more dynamic deal making. Hope no producer has made a five year deal with broadcasters.

In a sense, Mipcom 2013 was about changing needs as Superhuman founder Louisa Heinrich observed: “Buyers, sellers, content producers - all of them need to be more flexible in formats, content, distribution and rights models. So, if one has a 23 minute episode, they need to be flexible enough to also have a seven minute episode and still maintain the content.” Heinrich said content producers should stop thinking of people as being ‘mysterious’ because only then would they come up with new ways to do business.

Like many others, Heinrich heaped praise on Netflix saying it was a testament that people would pay for what they liked.

Mipcom also highlighted the fact that there were lots of customers for quality TV. “If customers are leaving TV, it is because they are demanding more content. More screens and fragmentation has led to more opportunity to make money. Content producers are getting more and more experimental. 

Channels are also entering the digital medium and it is a far less risk than launching a new show on TV,” said one of the speakers at the wrap-up session.

The panellists were agreed on one thing: With 30 per cent traffic on Twitter talking about TV shows, social media was surely driving people to consume more content. “It is a golden age for television. There are so many stories to say and to live in,” they concluded. 

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