MIPCOM 2013 – thoughts and reflections

I just landed back from a week of TV, online, second screen, contentcontentcontent and all the other things that a regular MIP week in Cannes consists of. This year one of the main strands of talks and discussions was on ”The Golden Age of Television”, which we apparently are living in right now.

And yes, I can’t but agree – looking at some of the brilliant storytelling going on over on television right now, I do believe there has been a shift towards television when it comes to people looking for content to engage and immerse themselves in. Increasingly – in my opinion – movies are being viewed as the ”less serious” medium, something that might have a lot to do with the fear of commitment we’re experiencing right now. Hooking your time up to a five season long TV series such as ”Breaking Bad” is a very serious commitment, much more so than going to the movie theater to see ”The Avengers II” or suchlike. This has given TV a more serious role in people’s lives, and TV has responded magnificently.

What I noticed very clearly at this years market is that, while there still is a lot of money sloshing around in television, there is also an ever-expanding market to be filled with content and paid for by that same amount of money. So even though there is a lot of €€ available, these funds are being stretched more and more. This means producers need to get into a start-up mode, and that the ”fail fast and fail forward” principle has never been as important as now.

With regards to genius content, I will readily say that this time around I saw nothing to really get me excited. There were interesting formats, but nothing new or groundbreaking. There was beautifully shot drama series (including one set in Aberystwyth, the Welsh town where I spent the best part of a year back in the 90s) but nothing that in any way could be said to ”revolutionize” storytelling or ”disrupting” the TV industry. All in all, much of MIPCOM was about ”same same but different”. I would have liked to see the people behind the Lizzie Bennet Diaries, for instance, tell the industry how they’ve used audience engagement and transmedia storytelling methods to get hundreds of millions of views. Perhaps in the spring!

All in all I noticed a TV industry that is being drawn out of it’s shell, quicker and quicker. And to be fair, there are quite a few parts of the industry that are quite happy and actively assisting in this. There’s still hope for this old dinosaur! :)

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2 thoughts on “MIPCOM 2013 – thoughts and reflections

  1. At the EU TV Drama Series Lab in Berlin in June there were som interesting cases showing and discussing excactly these new trends – both from the EU and US TV/media industry perspective.

    Coming from Denmark it was especially interesting at the event to experience this critique-less hype about Nordic Crime/ Nordic Noir. But these formats are – regarding the great story telling, acting and production value – completely old school regarding the media integration strategies and are therefore not the first choices for the younger (tv) audiences. They are madly popular with the critiques and the older tv audiences, though. So not much incentives for the Danish broadcast creators to do things differently at the moment, I’m afraid. They are riding the golden wave to the cliffs…..

    • I can absolutely see that. And, to be fair, things look rosy for a lot of TV companies at the moment, not only the Scandinavian ones. I can fully understand that they don’t want to rock the boat unnecessarily. On the other hand, them cliffs are fast approaching…

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