With MIPCOM just over a week away, European format expert Siobhan Crawford casts her eye over the offerings being launched in Cannes this year and picks out those that should be on your radar.
MIPCOM sounds like it will be a rave. But a rave with very few edibles: don’t panic… but we are content-light, people!
From that ‘paid for advertising’ news that is circling, to all the press releases, we are seeing limited new launches. Does that mean people are saving the launches for when they’re in Cannes? Securing content is a down-to-the-wire activity and our dear distributors are hard at it!
Rather than say ‘hot picks’, let’s see if we can do a bit of a format topline round-up from what we know in early October.
• Be-Entertainment – Finder$ Keeper$: OK, if you are a broadcaster, pick up your phones and call Gepke. If you are a producer sit on your hands and wait. This one is good.
• Rabbit – Wedding Diaries: The new daily stripped diary format coming from Finland – consider the possibilities with a great cast and big moments following the wedding to extend the series.
• Phileas Productions – Instant Millionaire: A scripted/unscripted hybrid that delves behind the curtain of a gameshow (that is really being played). Curiosity has me wanting to take a peak.
• Lineup Industries – Two launches this market. In Other News Today: quizzing celebrities on the news has never been so fun, with viewers winning prizes from the comfort of their sofas.
• The Story Lab – Launching three new formats this market. The Alcohol Experiment has the best potential due to the demand for social experiment with soft formatting.
• Media Ranch – The Story Of continues to be big, plus The Things My Dad Failed To Teach Me will also be making waves this market. Call Tanja as big news is floating.
• Distribution360 – You have to love Canadians – they just get formatted content: A Cut Above is the only chainsaw competition you need in your life. High stakes.
• Newen – Two titles, plus existing pushes. Close in on The Bodyguard as it is unique insight into an industry that we don’t see often; a really refreshing approach.
• BNNVARA – Take Me Home on NPO3 is a ‘finding our roots’ series, asking people to make the journey to ancestral homes and then asking the big questions but with solid ratings.
• And the rest: Acun Medya – we know a dating format is coming our way; Magnify is finalising titles, but will be pushing Master Cleaners and Love Raft from MIPTV.
And the groups?
All3Media’s IDTV may have played the best game announcing the successor to The Traitors with no details at all – and The Unknown is just that. It will also drive people wild by remaining that way until market. Banijay is asking us to take a hike… The Summit is formatted with known game mechanics.
Nippon TV is asking us to drink a Time Potion – my experience of drinking is that it makes you forget time, but OK.
Red Arrow Studios is launching Love For The Ages, which asks troubled couples to separate and date younger people. Armoza is doing what can only be compared to Sex Tape, but for parenting, in Parents Unfiltered; Fremantle is challenging their casting department with Unbreakable; and Passion is asking us to Send Nudes. Optional, I guess.
There is more, there is always more, but these are the headlines now. Though I urge you – consider the originality of the content. Also, look around and ask if a format is an investment or a quick burn? I was looking at the K7 MIPCOM 2021 trends recently and there must have been 50 titles. One year later, only nine formats are still active internationally.
The idea that content is so disposable really makes me wonder – are we just launching content so we have something to say every six months? There is snobbery about bringing ‘old’ content back to market, but actually would it not be better to have something stable rather than quick burns? Distributors need to do this more than ever to avoid catalogue bloat.
MIPTV and MIPCOM are essential markets, not for content but for the relationships that give you advantageous access to content. So, foster those relationships hard at Brown Sugar!
Siobhan Crawford is co-founder at Glow Media and has worked in the format business for almost two decades at firms including DRG, Zodiak, Banijay and Primitives