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By Hammad Zaidi | March 25, 2014

Welcome to Going Bionic, #204. I’ll be attending the 51st annual MIPTV conference in Cannes, France from April 7-10, so I thought today I’d start a two-part mini-series on getting you familiarized with MIPTV 2014. This year’s MIPTV represents a distinct shift upward in importance to all filmed media, as well as to the future of independent cinema, so I wanted to make sure we covered ample ground for you.

Should you wonder why an indie filmmaker like yourself should care about the world’s most substantial conference for screened content, I submit to you that as an indie filmmaker, your content is more valuable at places like MIPTV than it is at places like the Cannes Film Festival and the Marche du Film (also known as the Cannes Film Market). I know I’ve made that statement many times before, but I just wanted to drive it home one more time so you’ll start to realize how vital the “small screen” market is for your indie feature film.

So, without further ado, let’s discover MIPTV 2014.

A Significant Change in Description
The first thing I noticed about MIPTV 2014, is that they’ve shifted their identity away from being a television market, hence the “TV” in their “MIPTV” name, and they’ve positioned themselves as a content market for “screens of all sizes.” The significant change here is MIPTV would never acknowledge “screens of all sizes,” unless those screens were earning billions of dollars worldwide.  Thus, the shift in MIPTV’s description signals a major shift in where filmed content is earning its money.

Side Note: Should you wonder what “screens of all sizes,” means, MIPTV is referring to TV screens, computer screens, handheld tablets, mobile screens, online streaming, satellite, cable screens, airlines, ships, and any widely networked stationary screens that deliver creative content, like those in airport terminals, gas stations and checkout lines at grocery stores and retail chains.

***Remember, your creative content can go everywhere and anywhere these days, so keep an open mind!

Who MIPTV 2014 Attracts
MIPTV 2014 will host 11,000 participants, including 4,000 buyers, 800 VOD buyers, and 1,600 exhibiting companies from 100 countries. The best part of the above cluster of numbers is that only 9% of participants of MIPTV 2014 come from North America, Central America or South America. That means your American-based project is going to be exposed to the world at an event where the world’s key buyers converge to make deals.

Mapping out MIPTV Buyers
Since only 9% of MIPTV buyers are from the Americas, here is a breakdown of where the MIPTV buyers reside:

Europe 67%
Asia-Pacific 16%
Americas 9%
Africa/Middle East 7%

Since their governments largely finance the television and filmed media industries in Europe, it makes since that Europe sends the most amount of buyers to MIPTV. Simply put, it’s a lot easier to travel to major conferences when your government is subsidizing your expenses.

Asia-Pacific’s 16% of buyers at MIPTV clearly touts their commitment to growing their global filmed media industries. As you may already know, DreamWorks Animation is already building a $2.4 billion dollar entertainment complex in China, and they’re not the only game in town. Warner Brothers had a stellar year at the China box office in 2013, and are only looking to expand their brotherly love in Asia in 2014 and beyond. Thus, we should expect the Asia-Pacific footprint at conferences like MIPTV to only grow to a “Bigfoot sized” footprint in the coming years.

The Americas coming in at only 9% of buyers at MIPTV is a sign of companies cutting back on the money they spend and the number of people they send to conferences. While I’m sure a healthy number of companies from the Americas (especially North America) are attending MIPTV, they are mot likely sending 1-2 executives, instead of 15-20 executives like they used to send before the world financial crisis of 2008.

As for Africa and the Middle East accounting for 7% of the buyers at MIPTV, that is a clear testament to their commitment to spending more money and growing their filmed media industries in their perspective countries.

MIP Digital Fronts
New to MIPTV, these “digital fronts” are showcases for brand- new original online video and web programming.  In short, this showcase brings together buyers, content producers advertisers and distributors to create a global marketplace for online programming.

Okay, filmmakers. That concludes part one of our series on discovering MIPTV 2014. Don’t worry, as I lay of the MIPTV foundation next Tuesday, I will discuss what it all means to you, and how you can exploit this knowledge to benefit your career. So, until next Tuesday, I thank you for lending me your eyes, and I look forward to borrowing them again next week! I can be followed on Twitter @Lonelyseal.

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  1. michael says:

    Your comment is accurate. But I must point out that nearly ten years ago when I was behind the marketing for MIP we were already talking about “screens” as opposed to TV (and some people might remember the interactive forum Milia before that). The difference is that at the time, we were guessing whereas now it is really is a huge business!

    Concerning the numbers of delegates attending. Yep, since at least 2008 companies have been treating conferences more seriously. So when you step up to a booth you now have fewer lackies and a greater chance of actually talking to someone that can take a decision.

    I don’t work with MIP any longer, but did just release a Starter’s Guide to Cannes that covers how to make a trade fair work for you (rather than the other way round).

    Keep up the good work. Television is a very exciting place to be right now.

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