MIPTV 2014 – CANNES. 11,000 television and digital executives, including some 4,000 buyers, descended on Cannes this week for the 51st edition of MIPTV, said the show’s organisers, Reed MIDEM.
The importance of original online video production was clear to see during two days of hectic activity, packed conferences and well-received content showcases that were all part of the inaugural MIP Digital Fronts.
Industry luminaries such as Publicis Groupe CEO and MIPTV 2014 keynote, Maurice Lévy, have given their thoughts on how digital will impact the entertainment industry. In Cannes this week, Levy welcomed the possibilities that online access to customers provides brand advertisers.
But word in the exhibition halls was that the new MIP Digital Fronts is a welcome and timely addition to the business calendar, reflecting the importance of online content creation and distribution in the new entertainment economy.
“For over 50 years, MIPTV has been the destination to produce, finance, distribute and acquire content from around the world,” said Reed MIDEM’s Laurine Garaude. “Now, with MIP Digital Fronts, it naturally becomes the international digital content marketplace and the new global destination to produce, finance, distribute and buy original online video.”
The new event saw online content presentations from YouTube, Maker Studios, Dailymotion, Vice and Chipotle and well-attended showcases from SmokeBomb Entertainment, Vuguru and What’s Trending.
Perhaps the most explicit comment on whether it is still pertinent to discuss online and offline relations came from Shane Smith, Founder and CEO of multi-platform digital studio Vice. “I’ve been coming to MIPTV for a long time and people keep asking me ‘Are you on TV or digital?’ All I can say is that I don’t give a sh*t. All I care about is the content,” Smith said.
Speaking after a presentation of the studio’s most recent productions, including Black Market and Fresh off the Boat with Eddie Huang, Smith challenged his audience to forget about traditional TV and digital differences. “We’re Generation Y and there’s been a change of the guards in media. We’ve deals with YouTube, with Facebook and with TV networks,” he reminded delegates.
Rene Retchtman, president of international at US-based Maker Studios, talked up the democratisation of entertainment, brought about by the growth of digital channels and innovative content. British video games devotee Joseph Garrett and American comedian and musician Chester See – both of them huge Maker Studios hits – were presented as two of the most talented performers that mainstream television has never seen. Garrett told MIP Digital Fronts attendees that he is launching an online kids’ education channel, to be created by Maker Studios.
Amazon Studios Director, Roy Price, drew a packed audience to his Media Mastermind keynote. Seeking to reassure producers who are wary of a digital studio belonging to the world’s biggest online bookstore, he insisted that Amazon’s strength is providing producers of programming with access to millions of viewers. “At the end of the day we are a commercial outfit,” he noted.
Amazon Studios has produced 24 pilots and gone into production on 11 high-end series including comedy Alpha House, starring John Goodman. Upcoming pilots involve US film director Whit Stillman and TV/film star Ron Perlman.
The next event that Reed MIDEM will host in Cannes is MIPCOM, which will take place October 13-16, 2014. Next year’s MIPTV 2015 will take place April 13 – 16, 2015.