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SME#45: The perfect recipe behind MIPCOM 2023
A dash of Kids, a pinch of AI and a spoon of FAST
Welcome back to Streaming Made Easy (SME). I’m Marion & this is your 5-min read to get a European take on the Global Streaming Video Business.
Every Friday in your inbox. Check out previous editions here.
Enjoy today’s read.
I wrote today’s piece with 6 hands.
No I’m not a Martian, I simply teamed up with two fantastic contributors who also attended MIPCOM.
If you’ve ever attended MIPCOM, you know it’s 4 days of back to back meetings so there’s no way for me to cover everything on my own.
Today at a glance:
The FAST Corner
The AI Corner
The Kids Corner
The Friends Corner
Let’s dig in:
The FAST Corner
In October 2022, FAST was an after-thought except for those of us who operated in the space.
This year, everyone talked about FAST in some form or another:
Content companies gaging whether they should start their own channel or keep licensing their content to FAST Channels and Platforms.
Telecom operators looking to get a piece of the action so that FAST isn’t only in the hands of the CTV Platforms.
FAST Platforms going after traditional Broadcasters to replicate the TV bundle of Telcos and Cablos.
Technology Vendors becoming more and more visible with booths, sponsoring, reports and the likes. Before FAST, MIPCOM had little to do with technology.
Besides running around from meeting to meeting, I was the host of the FAST & Global Summit plus moderate a few sessions.
I came out of these pretty excited about what the future holds as I witnessed companies looking to grow and adapt their businesses to the restless demand for video content in FAST and beyond.
My main takeaways:
→ Premium content: Platforms are insatiable for premium content and rightly so. They still need to build up recognition and boost usage. You don’t do that with content viewers don’t care for.
Two things though:
By focusing on the channel brand, they can sometimes overlook or underestimate the actual programming of a channel (from a lesser known brand). Sure you need the viewer to be pulled in by a brand name but afterwards content is what will keep them.
Something’s gotta give. You can’t expect premium content without fixing discoverability and sharing more data. Content is expensive. To entice Content owners to enter (and stay in the game), send more love their way.
→ Originals: The most premium content of all = producing FAST originals or going highly scripted content but:
“It’s like shooting darts at a wall. Plus we don’t need it (given the depth of the Paramount library)” - Jeff Schutz, CSO & CBDO Paramount Streaming.
→ Shelf space: seems to reach capacity in the US. It’s tougher and tougher to get in. Channels will be taken down to the benefit of new ones. In Europe, the same soft cap at 100-150 channels remains the norm.
→ Monetisation: For most, it’s hard to recoup operating costs, let alone make a living. We all need to accelerate in educating brands and agencies (we need their $).
→ Coming next: FAST = Single-IP Channels and that’s it ?
In June, I wrote a piece on the Single-IP FAST Channel category:
“Single-IP FAST Channels in EU5 have the lowest attrition rate than any other genre (below 15% vs 27% on average)”.
Leaving this here for you to think over:
“A single IP channel is worth 100 channels” - Jeff Schutz, Paramount.
The AI Corner
Garrett Goodman and I became industry best buds as we both took on new challenges in March 2022 plus it’s in his name, Garrett is a really good man 🥰
For those of you who don’t know Garrett, he is VP of Sales at Papercup.
What does Papercup do?
Papercup localizes videos using AI and the most human-sounding synthetic voices you’ve ever heard.
They have a team of native-speaking translators that quality assures every video to get the perfect translation and delivery.
We were an instant match as I support my clients in their growth plans across Europe and one of their top challenges is content localisation.
I’m eager to see how the perfect blend of AI and human translators can accelerate content localisation at scale.
Here are the key trends he observed:
MIPCOM organised a dedicated AI Summit which speaks to the level of curiosity spurred by AI. You can’t look away anymore. Time to educate ourselves as an industry and explore the potential risks & gains.
So every media business now has an AI guru or an AI task force.
Content owners have to filter through all the gimmicky tech demos to see which AI companies are actually scaled up and production ready.
Social proof is going to be a key factor in helping media companies decide how to employ AI and who to go with.
As for localisation, European territories are a big focus right now. This is a shift from MIPTV a few months ago where getting coverage for Latin America and Brazil was higher on the agenda.
Within Europe, Germany is n°1 on their list which tracks as it's one of the more advanced ad markets in the world with healthy CPMs and fill rates. Two crucial factors when building a successful business case for localisation and expanding into a new territory.
The Kids Corner
I also had a chat with Emily Horgan who was in last week’s edition of Streaming Made Easy as she was gearing up for MIP Junior:
If you don’t know Emily, she helps clients work with large corporates like Disney, whether they’re providing a service, or pitching a show. She also gives advice on distribution and marketing strategies for kids IP on streaming and YouTube.
Here are the 2 trends she observed:
Trend n°1: The need for a multi-platform strategy was highlighted which is nothing necessarily new there but you just need to put your money where your mouth is in apps, gaming, Roblox and YouTube. It can’t be an after-thought anymore. You actually do need to meet kids where they are, and that means commissioning bespoke formats within each vertical.
Trend n°2: Established/proven/known IP remain a key thing commissioners are looking for, much to the dismay of producers.
This is not the causality issue of the chicken and the egg, because we all know precisely what came first – belief in a story and an idea.
Adding insult to injury, Bluey, an original IP which came up precisely because folks took a chance on it, is currently taking over the world.
So what options do producers have? Well established, proven and known, might all sound like synonyms but there’s nuance in the meaning:
Known could be a reboot, or a rebirth.
Proven could be through a smaller activation like podcasting, or a TikTok – just enough to show that an idea can engage.
Established honestly, is a bit problematic, because how established is too established. Commissioners will surely want some stamp on what’s hitting their pipeline.
The Friends Corner
I cannot stress it enough: we’re in a people’s business.
Some people may thrive in a world made of competitive and snobbish behaviours, others, like this gang below, are here to share and elevate one another.
Start ups, entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, big media, you got it all.
Aren’t we beautiful? ❤️
That’s it for today but before you go:
Enjoy your weekend and see you next Friday for another edition of Streaming Made Easy!
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