It’s all drama, drama, drama at MIPCOM 2017 – Q&A

As we rapidly approach MIPCOM 2017, our Content Director Cristina Clavera, gives us some insight into the current state of the VOD content business and shares her thoughts on what to look out for at the world’s biggest content market.

What are the key trends you’re expecting to be on the agenda at MIPCOM 2017?

As an industry, we’re seeing no shortage of drama productions emerge as this genre continues to break all viewership records for both linear and on-demand. Co-productions are also on the rise with international co-production deals raising considerable funds for high-end dramas. With this we’re seeing fierce competition between the big global streaming players and the traditional pay TV corporations. It’s also interesting to see genres that were intimately linked to these free to air or Pay-TV channels – predominantly sports – beginning to move to the streaming world.

Of course, we are also continuing to track the progress of VR and 3D to assess their sustainability and consumption beyond innovation or marketing actions and MIPCOM will no doubt address some of this uncertainty.

Do these trends tend to change from region to region?

The prevalence of drama series’ as the top genre is consistent across the world, but we do see different trends when it comes to the acceptance of international dramas in other regions. For example, Turkish dramas have been very successful in some Latin American countries for a couple of years now and Spanish productions have also started to work very well on streaming services in this region. Unsurprisingly, local dramas continue to be an important element in all services, especially in Asia.

What is the biggest challenge facing the content market at the moment? How can operators overcome it?

A lot has changed over the last few years when it comes to availability of content and its exploitation across windows. The emergence of global and regional VOD services and their rising buying power has led to the collapse of traditional windowing strategies and a fight for premiere rights.

More recently, the launch of VOD services owned by studios, Pay-TV channels and distributors is the final blow to the content distribution industry as we knew it. As a consequence, content rights are more fragmented, certain content will no longer be licensed and local operators will find it harder to acquire local rights to key shows.

Faced with this scenario, operators will need expert help to navigate this increasingly challenging landscape. Content aggregators, like Grey Juice Lab, provide tremendous benefit when it comes to the acquisition of these programmes due to the stronger negotiating power we can derive from licensing rights for a whole region or multiple territories.

What is the biggest opportunity for smaller operators?

The challenges facing smaller operators today are clear to us all – global players with deep pockets for content licensing and production. So, their biggest opportunity is a well thought out service strategy that focuses on content curation, timely programming and adapted marketing. This strategy and carefully curated content mix needs to be tailor-made to each service depending on the specificities of its territory, its competing services, under-served genres and other local factors. Get that right, and the opportunity is huge.

Which business model is seeing the most growth potential?

Unsurprisingly, SVOD is seeing a massive growth across the world due to the plethora of services currently available and its affordable pricing for the end consumer. However, other business models continue to perform well if the right genre and content is on offer. Kid’s content works really well on EST and new movie releases are great for TVOD.

What are you looking for from content owners at this year’s market?

Based on the upcoming programming needs of our customers, we are searching primarily for movies, TV series’ and kid’s content at the market this year. But, we’ll also be looking at certain niche genres, some music productions and, as usual, anything that stands out for its quality, originality or potential for engagement.

What benefits can operators derive from working with Grey Juice Lab?

We help operators design the optimum content strategy based on their target audience, competing services and budget constraints. But what really brings value to operators is the immediate access to content already licensed by Grey Juice Lab. We work with hundreds of content providers covering all types of content, formats and genres. Dealing with each distributor and studio is a time-consuming and expensive process for operators. Grey Juice Lab streamlines this process into an agile, simple and effortless licensing solution that culminates with the ingestion of the assets in the platform. Additionally, we also manage the daily running of the service (when required) based on our expertise in marketing & promotions, data analysis and content refresh.