During this year’s mipcom in Cannes also the new concept for MIPTV in April was presented, including the new stand concept. Will this really make such a difference? The audiovisual content market MIPTV in spring suffered significant loss in attendants in recent years while its sister market mipcom in fall is performing quite stable at least.
One thing is sure, the organizer of the trade shows is taking investment and risk. However, both is needed to make a difference. Competition is increasing and market dynamics have changed dramatically. A fact that also the city of Cannes is aware of and lead to the creation of the TV series festival Cannesseries, along with MIPTV.

This only was a beginning. The city’s major David Lisnard has now announced to invest over 500 million EUR in the next years to create a leading European audiovisual power hub in the south of France, including a prestigious Cinema and Festival Museum to open its doors by 2025. This too, if executed the right way, may be able to strengthen the base for coping with the challenges not only MIPTV is facing. In the long run also mipcom is likely to be confronted with changes.

What made MIPTV suffer was the increasing competition with the major US markets around the same time of year and the major US players focusing on mipcom instead of coming to Cannes twice a year. Without major involvement of the most attractive exhibitors the spring market lost attraction also to others. The other problem, that business partners and clients can stay in touch much easier all year long, exchanging trailers or pilots online, or have their meetings in a café presenting their stuff on their smartphones or tablets. This also effects the October market. Everybody agrees that there already is a big bubble in the audiovisual content market that at some point will deflate. Nobody knows when, but it will happen.

In the past mipcom was recovering steadily after such periodic shakeups. It cannot be taken for granted that it will be same the next time. Therefore, it will be very interesting to see if the new concept for MIPTV works out in April, that now will be completely independent from its sister mipcom that will remain to be the show-off event for the individual and big company presentations. MIPTV is to focus on basic business represented in the new stand concept. Objective is to attract more buyers in April. Laurine Garaude, in charge of Reed Midem’s entertainment markets, stressed that MIPTV still is the market with the 2nd largest number of buyers worldwide. “We intent to strengthen that”, she said during the introduction to the new MIPTV concept during mipcom.

Everything is supposed to be centralized at the Palais de Festival, with a flexible stand concept provided by the trade show. Exhibitors buying the complete stands based on the same noble looking Scandinavian like design, from small basic stands to big structures including meeting and office space. The reaction of exhibitors to this concept is very positive, according to Lucy Smith, in charge of the development of the new concept. However, walking mipcom floors you also heard a lot of sceptic commends from exhibitors. Some seem to insist keeping their individual stands with their own design. Pressure towards Reed Midem seems to be kept high. It will be interesting to see what the outcome of all this will be in April.

Moreover, the new concept may speed up another trend, introduced by new entrants Amazon and Netflix. They don’t have a stand at all, but a “secret” venue where they invite people they want to talk to. At this point the concept is slowly adopted by other companies that used to regularly exhibit at both markets.

In addition to the new exhibition concept also the conference program will be expanded. The “In development” section introduced this year will be expanded significantly. Reed Midem promises a clearer structure of its conferences and keynote section to better fit in MIPTV participant’s schedules. And again, voices on the floors are not thoroughly positive. One thing however is sure: It will be very interesting to see the outcome of the new MIPTV next April. This also will have impact on the ambitious plan of the City of Cannes for the creation of the leading audiovisual hub. MIPTV is the mother of audiovisual content markets. That makes it a symbol – a very strong one!

Photo by Dieter Brockmeyer

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Dieter Brockmeyer is an Innovation and TIME (Telecommunications, Internet, Media and Entertainment) expert. He is co-founder of the DIPLOMATIC WORLD INSTITUTE in Brussels and initiator and organizer of MCMS Congress bringing together media regulators and TV executives from across Europe. He writes regular columns for DIPLOMATIC WORLD and THE DIPLOMATIC SOCIETY, authored books and wrote numerous articles in printed magazines internationally. From 2014 to 2018 he initiated and headed the Global Media Innovator.

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