Here at VideoAge, we’re already looking forward to June, and have turned our attention to New Europe Market (NEM), which will take place for the second time, in Dubrovnik, Croatia, June 10-13, 2014.
NEM will end just nine days before the start of NATPE Europe (formerly NATPE Budapest, which was originally DISCOP) becoming a de facto new market for emerging TV territories, while NATPE Europe moves to become a general marketplace.
Now the questions looming above both markets are: Is there a need for another general market, and are there enough emerging territory in any parts of Europe to justify a solid presence?
Basically, NEM is a repurposing of DISCOP, but from the Balkans area instead of Central Europe and geared toward the Central and Eastern European entertainment industry.
In addition to a content market, NEM includes panels, something that Tamar Zardiashvili, manager of Programming and Acquisitions for Georgia’s GDS, is particularly looking forward to. “For me, those are important,” she said. “I would love to hear what people have to say about the region, what some of the difficulties are. For example, I know that in Georgia prices are much lower than those in the Ukraine and Russia. I’d like to know more about that.”
At NEM, Zardiashvili said she’ll likely be looking for female-oriented shows and formats (her channel’s demographic is 13-40-year-olds). But she said her needs at NEM will depend on what happens with her post-MIPCOM acquisitions. Overall, Zardiashvili said, “We mainly buy from England and the U.S. majors — BBC, Fox, HBO and others.”
Last year’s inaugural NEM event saw 900 attendees, and CEO Sanja Bozic-Ljubicic only expects that number to increase. “Central and Eastern Europe is largely uncharted when it comes to the media industry. There are not many regions in the world that offer this much potential: there is the infrastructure, there is the will, there is talent,” she said.
“All [the region] needs is to open the door a little wider and show what can be done here. That’s why we introduced our first New Europe Market (NEM) this year. There was some concern that the market was not yet ready, what with the consequences of recession still being present and everyone’s budget being tightened. Still, no new business is going to be opened without opportunity, which we provided for our attendees, as well as some risk, which we took and it paid off,” she said. “This is best illustrated by the fact that not only local and regional companies showed up in Dubrovnik, but we had wonderful response from global players like BBC, Viacom, Sundance Channel, NBCUniversal, Scripps Networks, and many others.”
Bozic-Ljubicic said she expects that once again this year, the majority of NEM attendees will come from the region, but emphasized that last year there were over 250 companies from 20 countries all over the world as well.
Asked whether NEM is in direct competition with NATPE Europe, which will take place June 23-26 in Prague, Bozic-Ljubicic was adamant: “There’s no competition. There is absolutely no reason why these two markets can not co-exist, even if it might seem to some that they are too close in terms both of timing and geography. Companies that go to Dubrovnik can still make good deals in Budapest and vice versa. There’s room for everyone,” she said.
“It’s not our intention to step on anyone’s toes. The decision to organize NEM in June 2014 was based solely on the feedback we got from our first edition.”
While NEM received positive feedback on their conferences last year (“the feedback to our panels was so good that it seemed quite surreal at times,” Bozic-Ljubicic said), the next event “is going to give more of a push to the market part, and we’ve prepared some very interesting opportunities for our exhibitors.”
Bozic-Ljubicic added: “I don’t think Dubrovnik needs too much introduction: It’s a gorgeous historic site. It was also always a marketplace, and we’re reviving that part of its heritage. The only difference is that it’s no longer limited to trading silk and oil in its harbor, but thanks to modern technology the city is turning to a significant global media market. Come and see for yourselves. Better yet — attend.”