MIPCOM VIEWPOINTS: TYPICALL TOPICAL
To some, October conjures up memories of Halloween and Octoberfest celebrations. But if you work in the international TV industry, you know that the month can only mean it's time for the MIPCOM market which takes place at the Palais des Festivals in Cannes, France (Oct. 9-13). We talked to many of the executives, producers and buyers attending the mart to find out about some of the key forces affecting the industry this year. Here are some highlights.
Chairman, Foothill Entertainment
Changing Times: "The biggest trend in the business has to be the influence of new media applications. It is giving life to older programs and providing an incubator for new ones. It is permitting broadcasters to envision upfront, additional revenue streams for programs that they want to buy or commission. Just as the home video market revolutionized the film and television financing markets 20 years ago, the plethora of new media outlets is having the same effect today."
Staying Au Courant: "The slate we're bringing to the market his year is definitely different because nowadays it not enough to have an interesting show or a cute idea. We have to commit and plan for on-line exploitation, interactivity and high definition broadcast; we all have to be much more technologically savvy about distribution means and methods than we ever were. Ten years ago we would offload these issues to the tech guys. Now, the buyers can be more up to date on these things than we are. We have had to educate ourselves mightily just to stay in the conversation because it has become part of the distribution sales discussion."
Survival Strategies: "The best way for indies to stay in business is to find a production partner they can trust and rely on. While all indies have always been willing to invest in their own projects to a greater or lesser extent, the stakes have grown very high. It pays to find a partner that is able to share that burden. Yes, there is less reward but there is also less risk and these days that is the name of the game. As they say, 50% of something is better than 100% of nothing."
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