The first annual UbiQ has just wrapped up at Paris’s Palais Brongniart building, site of the former Stock Exchange, and VideoAge is ready to give you a straight-from-the-floor account of the event. (For a full Q and A with the event’s founder and CEO Gwenael Flatres, check out this previous Watercooler).
To explain what UbiQ stood for there was a subhead: Digital Entertainment Showcase, and “digital” was, indeed, the key that opened all the conversations. In the view of some participants, “UbiQ” reflected what VideoAge interpreted it as — entertainment that is UbiQuitous.
Indeed, the event’s mission was to “spotlight the best of digital entertainment — content creation, business case studies and winning strategies to engage with audiences and maximize ROI across all digital platforms — Internet, mobile, IPTV, connected TV, tablets and social media.”
But one thing that was not completely clear was the difference between the definition of “digital rights” (since everything nowadays is digital, including terrestrial television) and Internet rights.
One French representative explained that “digital” is a typical American word, not used in France to indicate Internet (i.e., IPTV) rights. More on this issue in the October/MIPCOM Issue of VideoAge.
As for the event itself, it seemed that the conference portion was its saving grace. The popular seminars –– which featured a total of 21 keynotes, case studies and showcases –– helped counteract the sparsely populated exhibition floor. The floor was still useful, though, as a site for executives to meet between conferences.
We estimate that somewhere around 300 participants came out for the event. And in terms of company presence, all the key players were there: Viacom, Havas, Zodiak, Endemol, Disney, Universal, Globo TV, YouTube, Facebook, Canal+ and BBC.
BBC representative Gary Woolf created something of a stir with his comments that the business relies on TV-first window deals, but opportunities could be created “in the digital space without needing that elusive TV platform. It’s not the most sensible route financially, but if you can’t get your content on TV, you can still reach a massive audience and actually TV will come around to your way of thinking.” Some observers interpreted that to mean that many Internet shows come about simply because the broadcast networks didn’t want to take them.
There were 74 conference panelists representing 10 countries at UbiQ, with the largest contingent from the U.S., U.K. and France.
In terms of press, there was a large French presence followed by the U.S. (with VideoAge and The Hollywood Reporter) and Canada.