MIP market, 8.-11.4.2013
Welcome to Timoteus’ report from the MIP television market. This year MIP celebrated its 50th anniversary and attracted over 11.000 participants to Cannes. Attendance increases were reported especially in Russian, Brazilian and Chinese delegations.
MIPCube is about new content and platforms
MIPCube was showcasing digital creativity and multiplatform innovations for the second year. This year the status of the showcase was raised as MIPCube took place on the main exhibition floor. Pitches, panels and promotions took place throughout the week. The innovations ranged from a web service that turns items from users’ social media feeds into a TV channel-style offering to webcam based motion control.
Much publicized newcomer was Sweden’s Magine which is a cloud-based TV service offering linear channels. It combines cloud-based live TV, catch-up and on-demand programming in the same place. It has no set-top boxes, dishes or cables and the only requirement is an internet connection. The service is currently operating only in Sweden, where it offers about 30 channels: SVT, TV4, BBC World News, National Geographic, Cartoon Network and others. Germany and Spain are to follow later this year. A monthly subscription costs 99 Swedish kroner, or about 11.50 euros. Currently the service is available on Apple devices and Samsung’s smart TVs. More TV platforms and Android tablets will be introduced later.
YouTube’s own showcase
MIP joined YouTube in original online content screening to showcase successful online channels. The session started with Jamie Oliver’s FoodTube and was followed by Pixiwoo, a channel for make-up tips with 6.5 million monthly views. Flow is a parkour and urban sports channel. Its founder Tim Shieff came on stage doing back-flips and finished doing a handstand on his speaker chair. Comedy is popular content on YouTube channels with presentations from German Ponk and French Moustache. Moustache will start a show on French channel W9, so the online content is travelling back to broadcast television!
High definition technologies have been a staple part of TV markets for years. 4K, or ultra high definition created buzz at MIP and it was said to be ready in place for broadcasters. However, it will take several years before 4K will be mainstream. For example, the cost of digital storage of 4K content is still high and some packaging standards don’t exist yet. Still many producers are already shooting in 4K, especially sports and nature programs. On a side note, the 3D technology was almost non-existent at MIP this year.
Intel enters media business
The new television also brings challenges to measuring audiences. In the multiplatform world it is difficult to know the profile of the audience but now there are solutions to analyse cross-device viewing. Research company Videology has devised technologies to measure target audiences across online and mobile video. Videology works with Nielsen in measuring the effectiveness of advertising campaigns and it claims to be able to verify how many customers who saw online advertising actually did buy the product offline.
One noteworthy newcomer in the online business is computer chip manufacturer Intel Corp., who plans to launch an internet TV service with both live and on demand content. The service will run on an Intel-dedicated set-top box, which has a built-in camera. Reportedly, the set-top box can recognize viewers and tailor content according to who is watching. It remains to be seen how a chip-maker will succeed in acquiring content, which already is becoming somewhat of a scarcity amidst the rapidly increasing number of new channels and platforms.
The core business of MIP is selling and buying TV shows which at times is overshadowed by all buzz on the “new television”. Surely, deals are done all the time but tightening of the market is apparent on the beach boulevard Croisette, which had fewer billboards and less marketing activity than in the previous years. It is evident that the business is becoming more and more difficult, and we will see small and medium sized distributors going out of business in the future.
Formats continue strong
One of the big successes of last year’s market was Eyeworks’ Celebrity Splash, where famous people will perform high dives in front of audience and a panel of judges. This year’s new format has celebrities doing ski jumping and it can only be guessed, which challenge will be the next format, perhaps sky diving or bungee jumping?
Japanese formats continue conquering new markets and a group of eight principal broadcasters showcased their formats together. China has also entered the formats arena having acquired the widely popular The Voice. It is the most successful format ever in China reaching a 17 % share, which translates into 200 million viewers. The success of The Voice reflects on the license fees, too. Michel Rodrigue from The Format People said that the earlier hourly fee six or seven years ago of about 500 dollars has climber to about 25.000 dollars per episode.
Scandinavian Nordic World also introduced one interesting format. Gangster Boss is a new concept where reformed criminals will put their ruthless but surprisingly effective skills into work to help out failing businesses.
This year’s edition of MIP clearly showed that the traditional way of conducting television business is gradually fading away as the new technology changes the way we consume Television. The broadcasting industry is moving towards designing Television around the viewer.