My first MIPCOM with Little Dot Studios started with a 5:45am pick-up (ouch), for my journey to London Gatwick airport. However any anxiety or apprehension I had quickly dissipated and excitement set in the moment I saw my amazing new colleagues when I landed at the airport in France - this was Nice!
It’s clear that with a reported attendance of over 11k participants, that all the talk of the last few years about the demise of MIPCOM had been greatly exaggerated! The Croisette was buzzing, cafe Roma was heaving, the Palais was awash with new ideas, great content and countless possibilities… and of course the restaurants were back, gleefully taking advantage of our expense accounts.
However, the one aspect that seemingly hadn’t returned is upfront funding, with many producers looking for creative funding models to get their exciting projects off the ground or completed.
In a broad sense, the market seemed to be going for solid programming as opposed to the high concept, genre defining shows that we saw in MIPCOM's past. These formats came in the form of game shows and reality, with the old brands such as Survivor and Big Brother seeing relaunches in the UK, and brands like Deal or No Deal and Love Island seeing extensions/spin offs to the originals.
Nowhere was the desire for solid mainstream programming clearer than within scripted and factual, here we saw crime, true crime, new ‘takes’ on infamous true stories and historical figures on the stands of many distributors throughout Cannes.
Overall (and I’m not counting AI yet, as the whole industry is still figuring out what role it has to play) I would say that MIPCOM 2023 was characterised by the 3F’s; FAST, Free, Familiar.
FAST: The big announcement came early in the week from FAST streamer Samsung TV Plus, who announced new partnerships with several European broadcasters. I counted 5 events across the week dedicated to FAST and apparently it was a subject that came up in most of the other sessions. At LDS we are solidly in the FAST space with 8 channels across the major OTT’s. so we had some great discussions becasue as a company we are already well placed to help producers and distributors exploit their content within this burgeoning medium.
Free: I had lots of discussions with distributors for content, some who had their own AVOD/FAST presence. It is clear that everyone in the AVOD space understands that content doesn’t need to be exclusive for audiences to enjoy it anymore and the same content on different platforms does not cannibalise itself but rather grows it’s audience.
Familiar: With our Don’t Tell the Bride channel, LDS was perhaps an earlier adopter of the single IP Channel and we certainly saw the continuation of this, with extended roll outs for the Top Gear and Jamie Oliver FAST channels being amongst the most prominent.
Ultimately, with all these channels and content being created something's got to give! Just how will the audience find what they want to watch?! So my prediction (or maybe more a hope) for MIPCOM 2024 is a consolidation in channels and perhaps a focus on the role that AI has to play in search and discovery!