VR under the Spotlight at MIPCOM 2016 – Q&A

With MIPCOM 2016 just around the corner, our Business Affairs Director, Ainhoa del Coso, outlines what we will be looking out for at the show and gives a few useful tips for effectively tackling the world’s biggest content market.

1. Why is MIPCOM such an important event for Grey Juice Lab?
MIPCOM is the main content market for us overall. We do attend other regional events but all Hollywood studios and most leading global and regional players are present in Cannes in October. Not only you get to meet them to discuss ongoing matters in person but we also get the chance to establish new relationships with distributors, speak to other industry colleagues, get a sense of what is happening in the media business, explore new technological advances, discuss new trends and generally try to spot new, exciting and original content for our customers.

2. What are you expecting to be the big trends at MIPCOM this year?
We’ve been hearing a lot about VR recently but it remains to be seen where the money is and how to monetize it fully. It’s probably the right time to address these issues so we expect a lot of discussions on this topic and on the new developments that VR has in store for the near future. Another trend driven by technology is 4K. It has been around for a while with more productions being shot in 4K but the penetration of 4K TVs at home remains low. And then we have the battle between traditional TV and on demand viewing which has led to a fight for global rights, with no sign of it slowing down any time soon.

3. Who are you looking to meet? Is there anyone/anything really exciting you’re looking forward to seeing?
We have long standing relationships with all players in the industry ranging from content providers and customers (VOD/OTT platforms, telcos…) to technological partners. So we’ll be meeting them all.
Drama is going to be big at MIPCOM this year with so many screenings taking place at the Palais. We are curious to see the quality and originality of those dramas as serialized fiction is a key genre for VOD.
As for VR, it’ll be interesting to see how it transitions from productions that focused on passive viewing to a more immersive interaction by the viewer.

4. What are you looking for from content providers pitching to you at this market?
We’ll be looking for compelling TV series coming mainly from the US, Western Europe, Korea, Turkey and Latin America. Additionally, we are going to focus on 4K content, new VR initiatives and on children’s titles. Besides that we always keep our eyes open for quirky and unusual content!

5. Is content still King when it comes to VOD and OTT?
Many factors play a key role in the success of VOD and OTT services: the product in itself, how reliable it is the user interface, additional features, the price and the marketing and promotional efforts amongst others. The latter is an area where we also support our customers so that they promote their catalogue efficiently. The bottom line, though, is that people will come to your service and will remain loyal to it only if you offer content they want to watch. So yes, content is still King especially today when there are so many ways to consume video content. This makes it more difficult to differentiate yourself from the other players and compete with the global and regional powerhouses who have the means to acquire rights of popular brands exclusively and produce their own originals. Grey Juice Lab is trying to alleviate this barrier with our original content initiative whereby we aim to help smaller telcos and operators to gain access to high-budget Hollywood productions.

6. What top three tips would you give someone coming to MIP for the first time?
Do your prep work in advance so that you go with a clear idea of what you want to accomplish, who you want to meet and what you want to know more about. Additionally, make sure to book an appointment with the relevant companies and executives in advance. Diaries are full and it will be difficult for them to squeeze you in otherwise. And don’t forget to check the MIPCOM conferences and key notes – there are always interesting talks lined up!