I’ve spent some time traveling around Europe the past couple of weeks, attending first the bustling MIPJunior and MIPCOM on the Croisette in Cannes, then swiftly flying over to Madrid to speak at Fundacion Telefonica’s event Transmedia Living Lab.
The MIPs were as overwhelming as always, especially trying to cram a full week’s worth of meetings into one day. MIPJunior – filled with new animated Star Wars series, the new launch of the Thunderbirds franchise and a host of other content – was especially interesting this time around. I am consulting – in a transmedia capacity – on an animation property which was pitched at MIPJunior this year. It is a world I am not 100% familiar with, which made it very interesting to take part of. The dance is pretty much the same as when pitching “regular” TV shows, but the music is a bit varied and some of the steps are ones I’ve never seen before :).
Also, at MIPJunior, cross media approaches are the norm, quite naturally. I saw very few properties that didn’t take (or try to take) into consideration how the target audience mix media platforms fluently and spend a lot more time online than on television.
At MIPCOM, I felt a slight twang of despair; in between meetings, I found the time to attend part of the Fresh TV Around The World session, where 26 of the hottest new TV properties globally are presented. I hope it doesn’t reflect an exodus of talent from TV to online or other places, but some of the shows on display were dross, to say the least. Celebrity Pole Dancing? First Kiss (a total rip-off of the ”first kiss” viral video from last year? Or Keep Your Dog Alive, a show where the final prize is a cloned version of your recently deceased dog?
I dunno, but I felt a bit jaded. On the other hand, online is making waves in Cannes as well. If what Maker Studios’ Ynon Kreiz said is correct – that media agencies are advising their clients to put up to 25% of their TV ad budget on online instead – the TV industry now, more than ever, must evolve or perish. There are many trying to do just that – evolve – but it might get messy before the dust clears. One thing is certain – it won’t be dull!
Over in Madrid, Fundacion Telefonica hosted their Transmedia Living Lab again. I was happy to meet up with people like Christy Dena, David Varela and Rob Pratten, as well as Montecarlo and Eva Snijder and Fernando Carrion. All in all it was a great experience, even if I only spent a day there. It feels like transmedia is taking small steps forward, but on a very broad front, encompassing nearly all fields where stories are being told. At the same time, there are still quite a few minds bogged down in the ditch labeled ”What is transmedia, really?”.
I don’t think we’ll ever get the definite answer to that. What I think will happen is that all media will converge more and more, and storytelling with it – so much, so that a ”transmedia” thinking will be a natural part of all forms of content creation.