The MIPCOM 2016 visiting results for Ukraine
MIPCOM 2016 has ended just a few weeks ago – the most important event in the global TV industry, which was attended by more than 2,000 companies from around the world. And there were only those companies, which had a stand, so the number can be easily multiplied by two. Companies from Ukraine have also taken part in this major market place. To know more about the event, what are the interesting and current trends in other countries, and if there is a place in this media ocean for Ukraine, we’ve decided to ask the Executive Director of “MK-Distribution” Ekaterina Dmytrieva, the leading Ukrainian distributor of television content at the international market.
SSTR: Katya, let’s start with the main thing: what was the main purpose of your trip to the MIP?
Ekaterina: At MIPCOM 2016 we’ve introduced our two premiere projects – “UnFortuity” docudrama and “TerraByte” 2D cartoon. For the first time officially I acted as the producer of MK Media Group. For us, this trip was very important, because the step to a completely new level of DMart Production and MK-Distribution depended on it. I was very worried how everything will happen, how will foreign colleagues react to projects that just have to be a new breath for our company.
SSTR: and?… Will your hopes come true?
Ekaterina (laughing): They have already begun to come true. I’ve realized during the first time few hours of October 17, that the next breakthrough of MK Media Group at the international level would definitely happen. We had meetings with almost all the representatives of all the countries that were represented in the market. We tried to cover the maximum number of areas and to communicate with their representatives in order to know for sure about the conditions on a particular market, what is their approach to cooperation with foreign partners, as well as what genres and formats are the most interesting for their audience today.
SSTR: What potential partner was the most memorable?
Ekaterina: In addition to the countries about which we have heard a lot, I have pinpointed Ireland for myself – the companies do very high-quality content here: documentaries and cartoons, and they already have clients in the face of the top companies in the US and the UK. One feature is worth noting – Irish productions do not sell own content in own country. The case is that local TV channels have quite a low budget and are not able to pay adequate money for the content. But at the same time, the state have quite a good profit of television industry due to their natural locations – the largest production studios come to the country to shoot their best films at the amazing scenery.
I also liked the Australian content. They really made a step up to the international market – are doing very interesting and popular content of all genres. There are high quality feature films in the catalog of Australia that are suitable for many countries.
That is, if they decide to shoot something, they do it very well and have a support of reliable partners. I think we may well be one of them 🙂
As always, French cartoons are very modern and with fresh ideas, and the documentaries are of high quality in Germany.
China, Korea and Japan have once again confirmed their specificity and closeness. They have a completely different mentality compared to Europe, it is very difficult to do joint projects with them, because the style and presentation of information will only be suitable in their territory. Yet some companies rearrange and little by little begin to work with European countries and such other countries as France, USA, Australia, Italy, Russia, India. I think, that in the near future, Ukraine will be vastly represented in the huge Asian market, and initially this could be done through the co-production.
As for England, UK and USA, there are very powerful distributors of content. We have already established cooperation with some of them, and we are on negotiations stage with others. This market is complicated by the fact that it is oversaturated with offers and they could be surprised only by really new idea, unusual plot and moments with authentic style. Also, no less important is the high quality of video and beautiful, nearly perfect picture.
SSTR: so we’ve made some trends clear)) Now please tell me more detailed about the success of your company in the market?
Ekaterina: Maybe only a little)) We will be telling more detailed about deals step by step. I’m not superstitious, but as people say, you have to hold own happiness tight, and show it rarely to the other people.
As for the “UnFortuity” docudrama, right now we are negotiating with potential clients from England, Germany, Spain. One distributor in the US expressed a strong will to take this program for the distribution. Now we are determining with whom we shall sign the contracts.
But most of all I am pleased and encouraged that everyone, without exception, liked our “TerraByte” 2D cartoon (Season 1, 13 episodes, each 11 minutes long, 4 seasons are scheduled). Our entire production team made a huge bet on it, this is our first major animation project. But we initially decided to make it competitive at the international level. We all worked together on the idea, concept, script, characters and the inner world. Literally we were estimating every word and detail, when the artists were developing characters and visualizing the world. And our efforts were rewarded – literally everyone with whom we met, is ready to make the co-production. I won’t belittle myself and can say that the uniqueness and timeliness of our ideas has played quite a significant role. Now I am negotiating on co-production with Italy, China, Ireland, France, USA, Germany, Korea, Kuwait, Singapore, Mexico, Canada. We will choose the most suitable conditions and will run the production. I also want to emphasize the fact that is very important not only for us, but also for oter Ukrainian production as a whole – if your content is really of high quality, then you may have the chance to increase your income by several times selling license rights. And we are the confirmation of this fact. At MIPCOM 2016 one Hong Kong company showed an interest in our cartoon and expressed a will to buy the licensing rights and rights to the create video games.
SSTR: Your words are inspiring, it turns out that foreign TV channels are really interested in the Ukrainian content.
Ekaterina: Absolutely! MK Media Group confirms this fact eight years in a row. If you are hard-working person, able to adequately assess the situation and weigh the pros and cons , have rational thinking, and not just want to shovel up money – sooner or later foreign audience will see your product. It is very important also to overcome a mental thing – here in Ukraine everyone is for himself, everyone thinks “I will make the content by myself, I will sell it by myself and earn million”. However, unfortunately, the realities are such that almost no one is able sell in Ukraine and it is not so easy to earn million, if you have no experience in this business. Most manufacturers try to “sell” by themselves, and then they still come to us. But in this case there is a nuance – everyone send their proposals to majors, then they get a refuse due to misunderstanding of specifics, and then it is several times more difficult for us to restore the reputation of “refused” product.
In order not to be unfounded let me give an example that we really sell affiliate content. Let’s take the numbers of people who visited MIPCOM 2016 – currently we confirm the sale of “Antarctica. The journey to the end of the Earth” documentary to Italy. In addition, there are companies from France, Mexico, Spain, South Korea and Japan, which are interested in this film and “Spirit of the place” program.
Besides that we have quite a successful practice of sales of interprogram videos, which are very popular abroad at the moment. For example, the result of visiting MIPCOM 2016 is the sale of “FoodLab International” to the US, “Do It Yourself” to Israel, “Any Day Holiday” to Korea, “The Gulf” to MENA region. Now we are waiting for confirmation of sale of “Info Toy” interprogram video to Brazil, in addition there are companies, which are interested in it in France, Mexico and Italy. The same applies to “Who’s there?” interprogram video. There is also interest from a large network channel in such fillers – “Tasty Morning”, “FoodLab”, “LittleFoodies”.
SSTR: Who is actually selling content in your company?
Ekaterina: We have a department of international sales and purchases of content. They are young and ambitious guys, there are no boundaries for them. Among them are Artem Zapolskyi, Anya Verbovskaya and Tanya Gura, who came to the company almost at the beginning and evolved together with it. Now they can give odds even to many foreign colleagues from the worldwide and well-known companies. One thing is when you sell a product with the logo of the golden lion or a blue ball, and quite different thing is when you introduce Ukraine and the concept of “Ukrainian production/content” to the people. Not only that Ukrainian, but there also should additionally be “quality”, “modern” and “original/unique”. Everyone knows that it’s quite difficult to find common language with people of different mentality, and much more difficult is to learn to do business with them. And in this case the important role plays the ability of sales managers to be real psychologists to achieve the desired results.
SSTR: I’m so proud that Ukraine is able to find its place in this incredibly complex and not less interesting field, and moreover in the international market! Ekaterina, please tell us what’s your overall impression of MIPCOM 2016, what’s your mood after the event?
Ekaterina: Based on my answers, probably you’ve already guessed that my main emotion is “Inspiration”. Everyone is open to dialogue and negotiation – you can come to anyone, whom you are interested in, and he/she will certainly find time for you, no matter how busy he/she is. Everyone is interested in finding a good partner or buy the best and most relevant content from the point of view of programming of their channel or platform.
Certainly, it was at least nice to meet current partners. With some of them we work for a long time, but never once seen personally. The world of the Internet))
Speaking globally, the MIPCOM market is the most saturated market, there are a lot of meetings there and you do not have time even to go out for dinner, as you want to use every opportunity. And there are a lot of them there!)
SSTR: I anticipate that the next year you plan to go to the market again?
Ekaterina: Yeah, definitely! Moreover, we consulted with a team of development and sales department and decided to organize a venture – to gather the leading Ukrainian media companies (all of them were on the market this year) and to create a common Ukrainian pavilion. Does everyone remember the truth “when gathered we can do anything”? Let’s see what will be the reaction of our colleagues. Svetlana Konar, our Development director, will tell you more about this later. And, certainly, the next MIPCOM shall definitely have fun and a good time at the Ukrainian party within the market, which will be collectively organized by us.
SSTR: I think that their only logical answer will be “Absolutely yes, let’s do it! We were thinking about this by ourselves and wanted to make this offer to you”. We wish you to keep up the pace and more strength to implement your dreams and plans!