So, the last night in Cannes once again as MIPCOM 2012 is done and dusted, and once again there is that feeling of things moving slowly in the right direction. Yes, there is a lot – an enormous amount – of content that is as content has been for quite some time already; game shows, drama, animation, what have you. At the same time, there is a feeling in the air that the ones rooting for cross media strategies, for social media strategies, for transmedia storytelling and for taking the audience into account on a whole new level, are gaining in volume and strength.
This is a slow industry though – or at least it has been. With good reason as well, as traditional television has done quite brilliantly over the past 40 years or so, now being an industry worth well over 200 billion € annually. Why change a winning concept, you might ask? Well, some of the answers became quite clear during MIP; YouTube, for instance, held a couple of convincing sessions, showing that building a report with the audience and treating them more like friends than an actual audience, involving them in the stories and keeping up a line of good content released systematically can lead to viewing figures even the major networks would be hard-pressed to sniff at.
What it all comes down to is that the world is changing – as I’ve mentioned a couple of times before – and the sooner everyone realizes that and take proper action, the better for everyone involved. I am not of the über-zealous digital kind, that would need for everyone to drop everything they have and jump on the multiplatform bandwagon, but I firmly believe that if we decide NOT to branch out our narratives over several platforms, NOT integrate our IP with social media in a logical way that makes sense and NOT consider 2nd screen viewing and interaction, those decisions need to be based on well-informed, conscious reasoning and not just because we don’t feel like it.
Some highlights of the show was Angry Birds revealing their teaming up with Star Wars (my son will be absolutely thrilled , 4th Wall Studios getting to talk shop at the Future of Television session, YouTube announcing more new channels and more new money than you could shake a stick at, Shazam talking about a serious userbase and some new and innovative ways of telling stories through their services… And a lot of other stuff.
If you want the full report of the week, I can think of no better place to go than MIPBlog, where James, Angela and Stu quite brilliantly have gathered everything that happened over the past few days. The Wrap Up panel I took part in at the end was pretty neat, go look at that video when you have the chance, but so were a lot of the other talks.
If anyone is going to Transmedia Fest London in a couple of weeks time, see you all there!
by Simon Staffans, Format Developer at MediaCity Finland.