Day two of MIPTV 2023 kicked off with the International Drama Co-production Summit, followed by a packed FAST Summit as delegates gathered to hear what’s next for this growing phenomenon. The equally well-attended FRAPA Formats Summit examined the ever-growing formats business – and the day continued with the Future of Kids TV Summit and the SDG Awards, established to recognise programme makers and broadcasters whose work furthers the message of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals…
Local Hero in Cannes
British soccer star Tony Woodcock is at MIPTV with Krafty Entertainment, which is producing the upcoming film Local Heroes. The film tells the story of the three Nottingham-born players who won the European Cup with Nottingham Forest in 1979 and 1980 – Viv Anderson, Garry Birtles, and Woodcock – against the backdrop of the cultural, economic, and social landscape of the 1970s. Comparing that era with today, Krafty Entertainment CEO John Warrington said: “When Tony went professional he left his £60-a-week job as a plumber to earn £50 as week as a football player.” Woodcock added: “I’d have done it for £45!” Woodcock, who played for Nottingham Forest, Arsenal, Cologne and England, is executive producer on Local Heroes.
‘A new format can start with just a picture’
FRAPA hosted its bi-yearly Summit in Cannes on Tuesday. The 90-minutes session is open to all delegates and is designed to inform anyone who wants to tap into the shows, trends and players that are setting the format industry’s agenda.
A series of on-stage Q&As kicked off the session, concluding with a conversation between FRAPA board member and acquisitions consultant, All3Media, Lisette van Diepen and Michael von Würden, managing director of Germany’s Snowman Productions and developer of the hit format Married at First Sight. In Cannes with his new format Stranded on Honeymoon Island, von Würden said the success of Married at First Sight has made it very easy to approach commissioners with new projects. “Relationships with commissioners are very important,” he said. “But a new format can start with just a picture or an idea,” he said. “We don’t really write anything to begin with. First, we work on a trailer and then we start writing to find out whether or not we have a format.”
FAST channels are getting faster
MIPTV’s first-ever FAST Channel Summit was standing room only as delegates from around the world came to learn about the media industry’s latest commercial phenomenon.
After introductory remarks about the sector’s remarkable growth, event sponsor Amagi announced a new platform called Amagi Connect, designed to dramatically cut FAST channel launch time. Lior Friedman, senior vice-president, business development, said a pilot scheme involving leading industry players had shown it was possible to cut channel launch time from around 100 days to six days, “and we think it can get even quicker”.
Following Amagi, there was a series of sessions drilling down into issues such as content, distribution and monetisation. In the first, Banijay Rights vice-president, digital, Shaun Keeble, said his company now has 22 channels and 111 unique feeds. “To date 75% of our channels are single IP led, around shows like Deal Or No Deal and Masterchef and the remainder are aggregated genre channels like Horizons.”
Alongside Keeble was Jennifer Batty, European head of content acquisitions at AVOD/FAST platform Samsung TV Plus, who said the company sees FAST channels as “added value” for its smart TV customers. Explaining why the company makes a good platform partner for content owners, she said: “Samsung currently provides 120 million smart TVs worldwide and 50 million in Europe -— a 34% share.”
In terms of Samsung TV Plus’ channel line-up, she said there is a mix of owned-and-operated channels and third-party channels. She said the platform will introduce more channels and cited crime, lifestyle, action and entertainment as possible growth areas.
You don’t need a suit to do business
London-based production company Pictures In Motion teamed with MIPTV on Monday for its 60th anniversary Opening Night Party. And while MIPTV is celebrating 60 years, Pictures in Motion (PIM) is celebrating the launch of a brand-new reality series here in Cannes.
Ready Set Start UP is an entrepreneurial challenge-based series in which 10 early-stage entrepreneurs engage in a series of challenges to win a £100k investment and business support to kick-start their business.
PIM managing director Luis J Kelly said he decided to harness “the power of entertainment television to teach viewers how to start a business successfully while removing all of those stereotypes that to be a successful business person you must have a degree from a leading university or wear suits all the time. With the right guidance and mindset, anyone can build a successful business and the best place to start is with Ready Set Start UP.”
Understanding ‘the largest generation in the world’
Tuesday afternoon at MIPTV saw delegates gather for the Future of Kids TV Summit, where some of the world’s leading futurists explored the likely interests and behaviour of Gen A, the cohort of kids born between 2010 and 2024.
Kicking off the Summit, Ashley Fell, of social research consultancy McCrindle, said: “There are 2.7 million Gen A children born every week. They will be the largest generation in the world and the oldest now have purchasing power.” Gen A is characterised by three things: “They are digitally integrated, globally connected and visually and socially engaged. They have no fear of technology.”
Fell’s session was followed by a keynote from Evan Shapiro, during which he mapped out the Future of Kids TV. Then it was the turn of Dubit senior vice-president, media insights Adam Woodgate to take the stage in Disrupting The Disruptors, Generation Alpha and their Media. Here, he drew on the company’s global trends tracking survey of kids and teens.
Speaking to the MIP Blog, he said: “This is a cohort of children that have never known a world without touchscreen, mobile, interactive media.” Describing Gen A as “the iCan generation”, Woodgate said: “This audience is a creative force in their own right. They are using tech to support their learning and creativity.”
Silverback’s Hughes accepts the 2023 MIPIM SDG Award
The annual MIP SDG Award for 2023 went to Silverback. The Award was collected by Jonnie Hughes, co-founder and director of Studio Silverback (sister company to Silverback Films), a production company specialising in natural history specials and series, notably Sir David Attenborough’s phenomenally successful film A Life On Our Planet, which was produced and directed by Hughes.
UN Under-Secretary General for Global Communications, Melissa Fleming addressed the audience by video link, and warned that we are “behind schedule for the SDG’s 2030 target”. In this climate emergency, she said, “storytelling matters more than ever” and she congratulated Silverback on its “ambitious productions highlighting the beauty of our planet and the urgent need to protect it”.
Before presenting the Award to Hughes, along with MIPTV Director Lucy Smith, deputy director of the United Nations Regional Information Center in Brussels, Caroline Petit, said it was an honour to present the Award to Silverback and to Hughes and commended the company for “leading the way” and “for bringing the wonders and the challenges of the natural world into the households of millions across the globe”.
Jonnie Hughes credited Silverback founder Brian Fothergill for bringing together partners to fund the high-end productions that put across strong messages about the natural world and the need to protect it, describing it as a “commercial coup”.
The MIP SDG Award was launched in 2020 to highlight media companies’ action and contribution towards delivering the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted by all United Nations member states back in 2015. This year’s Award is dedicated to SDG 13, Climate Action; SDG 14, Life Below Water; and SDG 15, Life on Land.