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MIPTV 2005: Preparing industry for the onrush of change

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CANNES: "People need to prepare for all the oncoming changes that new technologies are engendering, the speed of which is quite scary." That, according to Reed MIDEM director of the television division Paul Johnson, has been the key thought behind the technology-heavy structuring of this year's MIPTV featuring MILIA 2005.

And tech-heavy it was. New level of technology participation is indicated by the very visible presence of the big boys of the business Vodafone, Orange, Alcatel, Microsoft, Nokia and Samsung, to name a few.

Johnson also referred to how MIPTV was strategically placed as a platform to facilitate the exchange of ideas. "This continued with our UN AIDS initiative which is a social and economic issue which the world media needs to pay more attention to," he pointed out.

Another highlight of the event that got a mention was the DVD awards which at MIPCOM will have three added categories in music, sports and gaming.

The new wave flavour for everyone in Cannes seemed to be around the mobile and all it offered. Mobile screenings have been one of the standout hits at MIPTV 2005 and will have an increased prominence at MIPCOM in October where a focus in the presentations will be on the kind of handsets that are going to be on the market in the next three to five years. A glimpse into the future of the most overarching technological wonder since the advent of the TV will certainly be what everyone will want to see.

Throwing some figures, Johnson said the number of mobiles worldwide stood at 600 million, an increase of 30 per cent from 2003.

There have been good numbers on the attendance front as well. By the end of Wednesday (Day 3) attendance was at 12,007, well on track to cross the 12,913 participants that early estimates had indicated would be attending this year.

A numbers check at the end of Day 3 gives the following stats:

.Total companies attending 4,022, up eight per cent from the 3,728 last year.

.Total TV buyers 3,598 up 25 per cent from the 2,868 last time round.

.Total countries represented 98 up from 92 in 2004.

.Total participants arrived 12,007 up 13 per cent from 10,655.

Speaking about the sheer scale of planning that had gone into the event, Johnson said Reed MIDEM tripled the investments made in order to increase the facilities and number of conferences. And those investments are obviously paying dividends. Director of press and public relations Michael Williams said he'd never seen the kind of attendance that were seen this year. Williams should know as he's been at the centre of things for the last two years with Reed MIDEM.

Looking ahead to MIPCOM later this year. It will run from 15 to 21 October I (MIPCOM Junior 15-16 October and MIPCOM from 17 to 21 October).

In parting, Johnson gave the assurance for those like Indiantelevision.com that were a bit wary of the overarching dominance of technology at a market that is all about content, the buying and selling of it, 'Content is what we are about and that is never going to change.'

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