It seems that MIP Asia is the latest victim of reverberations from the Asian economic meltdown.
At the conclusion of last year’s market, the Reed Midem Organization conducted a survey to discover the level of business generated by the event. When participating companies responded with a chorus of ho-hums, RMO decided to postpone this year’s event (which would have taken place in Singapore this December) until 2001. ‘Some [participants] said they were starting to see the first signs of recovery,’ says Michael Weatherseed, RMO’s director of television division. ‘But, in terms of real business generated, I think people’s satisfaction level was reasonable rather than good.’
During its year-long hiatus, RMO hopes to reposition MIP Asia to attract a stronger presence from the technology sector. At this month’s MIP TV, 11% of participating companies indicate they are working principally in new media. With statistics such as these, rmo believes the key to reviving business activity at the Asian market lies with this group. ‘There’s still a huge amount of business being done in traditional television programming,’ qualifies Weatherseed. ‘But, now there are greater opportunities for producing programs on a multi-platform basis.’
RMO is also negotiating with the Cable and Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia (CASBAA) to combine MIP Asia with the market event CASBAA traditionally hosts in Hong Kong just one month earlier. Says Weatherseed, ‘We started talking to [CASBAA] and there’s a desire on both sides to make things happen, but there’s no agreement yet.’ Whether combining the markets would mean amalgamating the two events into one, or simply hosting both at the same time in the same place is yet to be determined.
Attendance at MIP Asia 1999 was up approximately 10% from 1998, for both participating companies and buyers. The top five countries represented by these companies included Singapore (99), Hong Kong (72), Japan (62) and the USA (61).