As many as seven keynote on-stage interviews took place on the second day of NEM Dubrovnik 2023.
Commenting on United Group’s leading position in the CEE region, Its CEO Victoriya Boklag said: “When we talk about the future of media in general, I think it’s one of the most transformative industries. We have a lot of global players, and the competition is good – they are coming to our markets directly fighting for eyeballs. Our big advantage is local media and local content from the region”.
On the subject of upcoming projects, she added: “We are looking forward to the start of the Pink Panther series production. It will be the first project which will be co-produced by several countries, and probably also by some international partners. Also, we were the first one to produce a talent show online, The Digital Show. We will try to bring it on TV, it was a big success produced in Serbia – we will create a link between digital content and TV content. We are also participating in the project funded by the European Union to experiment with the production of content for Gen Z”.
Meanwhile, Vanda Rapti, EVP & CCO for North America and Viaplay Select, Viaplay Group talked about Viaplay’s future ventures: “I am truly excited about helping partners around the world grow their own service, and about seeing the success and upsides Viaplay Select brings to business. We are indeed looking forward to launching in new territories with more partners. Also, I’m super excited for the amazing content pipeline that is coming both for Viaplay under our direction to consumer markets and for our Viaplay Select partners around the world”.
Jamie Cooke, GM CEE, Baltics, Middle East, Mediterranean, Turkey and EMEA Pay TV and Creative Agency, Warner Bros. Discovery spoke about locally relevant content:“I’m a great believer in the markets moving together with our clients. I feel like the local players have the local covered and we have the global content covered but there is a sweet spot in the middle which is where we are heading from a content strategy point in my markets – locally relevant content that can travel”.
He also touched on linear channels: “In this part of the world, the linear is not dead. In fact, we see growth in pay TV and I also think that consumers are incredibly price sensitive. There may be a space for three or four services of the best kind. The question I have is about where do linear channels feature in a streaming environment. It’s a question for the whole industry – where do the consumers want to see linear channels and how are we giving them access to”.
Mark Young, EVP distribution and networks, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Sony Pictures Television talked about the strategy to create quality TV content: “Great stories can come from everywhere, so we really expanded our production capabilities around the world. We want to understand the local nuances and tastes of local audiences. Also, co-production is interesting to us. We are working with streamers on a global level but also with local partners in each territory.”
As for the gaming industry merging with TV industry, he said that content still needs to be brilliant: “As much as we’ve got a built-in audience from PlayStation gamers, if you know the IP and you aren’t a gamer, the IP needs to stand on its own and it needs to be brilliant television”.
He added that TV markets like NEM Dubrovnik are important for everybody to connect: “People are excited to see each other and work together”.