TVFI preps digital IMDB-like platform

TVFI, the trade association for French distributors, is preparing the launch of a new digital platform designed along the lines of Amazon-backed content database IMDB.

The promotion and sales tool for French content companies will be called France Export Pro and phase one of the new service will be launched in June 2015.

Targeting both public and professional use, TVFI wants France Export Pro to be the authoritative and exhaustive source of information on French TV productions.

It will show trailers and include significant information such as audiences numbers. International buyers will have access to a dedicated viewing area.

TVFI is currently launching a call for bids for technical partners, which will be decided in December 2014.

Another section of the platform will be presented as a ‘virtual laboratory’, for international buyers. This part of the project is set to launch between 12 to 15 months from now.

France Export Pro aims to cover 40,000 TV shows. The €3.5 million (US$4.5 million) platform is being financed by funding organisation CNC along with TVFI and its members.

“This platform is part of a broader project to create a real digital presence at TVFI,” Mathieu Bejot said. “In parallel, our current website will evolve in the short term and all the catalogues and references to the programmes will be transferred to France Export Pro.”

“French companies have multiplied the number of sales contracts to stay at the same levels as in the previous years. This platform will allow French distributors to reduce their technical spending, and to win business in new market segments in new countries or among small buyers. This also will help them to achieve profitability even at flexible or lower prices,” Bejot added.

Investing 40% of the project’s budget, CNC confirmed in Biarritz the importance of TV exports as a complementary tool to culture.

“This is a major growth area,” Frédérique Bredin, CNC president commented. “The TV channels contribution to [programme] creation will not much rise into the coming years, but the French cultural exception is also to export Gallic talent and content.”

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