People/Biz

MIPTV to shake up exhibition experience amid industry skepticism

Updated at 2:40 p.m. to include comment from TCB’s Paul Heaney. Business events giant Reed MIDEM is making changes to its Cannes-based international television content market MIPTV experience, following industry consultation. The first ...
July 23, 2019

Updated at 2:40 p.m. to include comment from TCB’s Paul Heaney.

Business events giant Reed MIDEM is making changes to its Cannes-based international television content market MIPTV experience, following industry consultation.

The first of a series of format changes to be unveiled in the coming months concerns the exhibition experience for content developers and distributors.

While few specific details have been released, Reed MIDEM suggested in a press release that the redesigned exhibition will create a “completely new show experience,” with greater flexibility and scalable options for exhibitors.

The new experience will affect the three principal halls where 80% of the exhibition takes place: Palais -1, Riviera 7 and Riviera 8.

“Flexibility is a top priority for our exhibitors, and this came through very strongly in our industry survey earlier this year,” said Reed MIDEM’s television division director Laurine Garaude in a statement. “So, in redesigning MIPTV we have been inspired by new agile workspace concepts such as WeWork, and will be transforming the way the Palais can be used. We will offer solutions that are both affordable and premium, paying attention to company branding and personalization which are both very important to the industry.”

“We have brought in these changes in close consultation with our exhibitors and are now beginning to bring this new vision to life with many of them, with very positive feedback so far,” added Lucy Smith, deputy director of the TV division at Reed MIDEM who is spearheading the transformation of MIPTV. “We are confident that this first major phase, along with a new buyers program and changes to the schedule and format that we will unveil over the coming months, will streamline and transform the MIPTV experience.”

Paul Heaney, CEO of TCB Media Rights, tells Realscreen that skepticism remains among distributors, despite Reed MIDEM’s assurances.

“The challenge for Reed MIDEM is to try to convince everyone that this is for the good of the buyers and the good of the exhibitors and not just a cost-cutting move, which doesn’t really solve the problem for us,” he says, noting that MIPTV is an important force in the unscripted world. “There’s a lot of influence there on the unscripted side, once you realize that MIPDOC is there as well. And its numbers are dropping.”

Much of the anxiety boils down to uncertainty amid the vagueness of this first announcement. “Let’s see what the benefit is,” says Heaney. “When we originally took the stand that we have up on R8, the stand that we have now, the stand was bigger than the office we had in London. So that tells you a little bit about how seriously we considered MIPTV, and how faithful and committed we’ve been to it, so I want to see the benefit and whether that commitment is being paid back.”

If companies like TCB see the value of the market go down, that may affect where they go to do business. “MIPTV was part of our blueprint, our critical path, every year, so we need to know fairly quickly whether they’re going to do this or whether we’ll seek an alternative plan,” says Heaney, noting that we don’t yet know how prices for attendees might change under the new model, let alone marketing opportunities. “That’s a very real option. If we don’t have the same attractive marketing platform for our shows as our stand is currently at MIPTV, then we’d be absolute mugs not to seek alternative plans. We’re just being pragmatic.”

About The Author
Senior staff writer Frederick Blichert comes to realscreen with a background as a journalist and freelance film critic. He has previously written for VICE, Paste Magazine, Senses of Cinema, Xtra, Canadian Cinematographer and elsewhere. He holds a Master of Arts in film studies from Carleton University and a Master of Journalism from the University of British Columbia.

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