Content 360 – a transmedia opportunity

I’ve been attending the MIPs (MIPTV in the spring, MIPCOM in the autumn) for six years running now; marketing our formats, building networks and relationships and keeping up with the trends in – predominantly – the television industry.

The MIPs have always tried to keep up with the times – granted, mostly with more than just a glint of ”where’s the next revenue stream going to come from?” in the eye – and introduce new elements every year. During my years there I’ve seen focus on mobile television, User Generated Content, interactive television, 3D television etc. There have always been sidetracks to the actual MIP-fairs; once upon a time one sidetrack was called MILIA (and searches still give the name is MIPTV featuring MILIA, where MIPTV is ”World’s premier audiovisual market” and MILIA is ”World’s largest interactive content forum for TV, mobile &broadband.”

This year MIPTV includes MIPFormats the weekend before and, during the week, features the sidetrack Connected Creativity, where ReedMIDEM, the organizers, team up with GSMA, the global mobile industry association, for something they call “A global forum uniting entertainment, technology and mobile media”. Still a serious focus on revenue streams, no denying that, but at the same time the mantra “Content Is King” keeps popping up.

Opportunity for transmedia

This is where the transmedia angle enters into the picture. See, in what has become a fixed event at MIP, they’re hosting the Content 360 competition, a competition where organisations and companies from the media industry look for new content in specific categories. Content 360 usually attracts quite a lot of entries, ranging from the pretty poor to some truly groundbreaking stuff. The prizes usually are a wad of cash and the possibility to work with the company/organisation in question to develop and produce the winning concept. So, this is perhaps more a chance for new developers and smaller companies to start forging a deeper relationship with a major player, than for a big development studio to come in and sweep all the prizes.

This year I personally believe that anyone who had done their homework and are adapt at thinking transmedially will stand a good chance to be picked for the final round, perhaps even win a category. For example, read what Clare Tavernier from FremantleMedia, who sponsors one of the categories, has to say about what they’re looking for in a good entry:

We aren’t looking for TV shows with extensions. We are looking for cross-media experiences in which TV is a part of the mix.
We will also look at the commercial and brand integration potential. We want creatives to really show a capacity in coming up with brand-friendly and market-friendly ideas.

Now, even though she says “cross media”, do tell me if a true transmedia project wouldn’t fit the bill a lot better – especially when you are talking about brand integration, as I’ve touched upon before in this blog.

Then we have the things you always have to worry about – will my submitted idea be safe? Will someone rip it off immediately? Are there any guarantees? And of course, one can never be 100% on the safe side. As soon as you’ve told someone your idea, a rip off is possible. We’re chosen to go with the Format Recognition And Protection Association, FRAPA, to register our ideas with all necessary timestamps. If you have an idea or a format, it might pay in the long run to take a look at their services.

So, you’re thinking, he’s done a decent job of selling that competition to us – but will he submit something of his own, eh? Answer is – yes, but in a slightly different setup than my normal dayjob. So in a way this is pretty stupid of you, you continue, asking for more competition? Answer is again, yes, in a way. But I believe the more good transmedia projects we get up-and-running, the easier it will be for all of us to create new transmedia stuff. It’s all good, basically.

See you all in Cannes in April, right?

What’s in a name?

This blog was for a long time named “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”. Not that I had any preference for Mary Poppins, I just liked the word. Then, I changed the name, to “The Developer’s Log”, as I felt it better reflected the things I was writing about. And now, a U-turn, and the name is the same as it was before. The reason? There’s more to life – and to a blog – than mere work ☺. The content will, more or less, continue in the same vein as earlier.

Disclosure: I do a – non-paid – monthly guest blog post for ReedMIDEM, the company behind the MIPs.

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