As part of the Road to MIPCOM series, we are chatting with international executives about their plans for the upcoming market. This week, we spoke to Solange Attwood, Blue Ant Media’s svp, International, about their new factual titles, the Spectacular Factual Productions In UHD Panel and the company’s co-production expansion.
VideoAge: Do you expect this MIPCOM to be different from last year’s in terms of a) results, b) number of buyers you’ll meet with and c) activities around the market (parties/events/etc)?
Solange Attwood: MIPCOM remains one of the largest global content markets for Blue Ant International and key to our overall sales strategy. It is a great opportunity for us to meet with our existing buyers, while also engaging and expanding our roster of international clients across platforms. We are optimistic that our clientele will respond to our ever-expanding slate. This MIPCOM, Blue Ant International is launching its largest slate to date with almost 100 new hours of content. We are diversifying our offering into new genres, including primetime entertainment formats, while maintaining our position as global leaders in 4K natural history distribution.
Our team is also expanding its co-production offering across all of our content. Blue Ant International continues to work with top tier producers from around the world with the goal of providing premium programming to all of our buyers across a diverse range of linear and non-linear platforms. This is evidenced by our continued emphasis on output deals with producers such as Our House Media, Cream Productions, Zig Zag Productions and most recently CMJ Productions.
VA: Do you feel that MIPCOM is becoming too big?
SA: From our perspective, we’re encouraged to see new buyers across all platforms at MIPCOM this year. With content at the forefront of our discussions, we look forward to sitting down with key creators, platforms and programming executives from all territories and are always looking for new opportunities. We acknowledge and see that our industry is expanding, resulting in more buyers for our diversified slate. As a result, we’re incredibly optimistic and hope to see MIPCOM continue to grow in scale.
VA: If you had a chance to see the conference program, which one would you attend?
SA: One event we are really excited about is the Spectacular Factual Productions In UHD panel happening on October 18th. Our very own Vanessa Case, EVP, Content, Blue Ant Media and Andrew Jackson from Plimsoll Productions will be presenting one of our key offerings at MIPCOM this year, Camp Zambia. Audiences can expect to hear about how the project was launched between, Blue Ant Media and Plimsoll Productions. Vanessa and Andrew will also share clips of the initiative’s stunning 4K content and extraordinary night footage, created with rarely used before Selex cameras, offering thermal imaging content. It is a great chance to catch a sneak peak into the latest Blue Ant International content.
About Camp Zambia:
Blue Ant Media and Plimsoll Productions launched an extraordinary 4K natural history project in 2016, Camp Zambia, which has tasked the two companies to produce 50 hours of stunning 4K wildlife and nature footage over the next two years, from a new state-of-the art production facility in the African country. Content will range from blue chip footage of animal behavior to engaging character-led series, showcasing the extraordinary breadth of African wildlife.
VA: Are you bringing new shows? What are they? List top 3.
SA: With more content acquisition announcements coming soon it is hard to only identify three series. However we are excited by the initial response to Collision Course (6×60’HD – Reelz), How The World Ends (6×60’HD – American Heroes Channel & T+E) and Africa’s Underwater Wonders (5×60’HD – Love Nature). Stayed tuned as we’re launching a lot more new content at the market that has not yet been announced.
VA: Which territories are emerging for you?
SA: All territories play a key role in our growth strategy. To date, Blue Ant International is working with all territories globally. However, there are emerging opportunities daily through the launch of new offerings across all platforms. Key to our success in providing value for content creators and owners is our ability to thoughtfully negotiate complex windowing strategies. As an international distributor with offices in both London and Toronto, we are able to take advantage of strong sales experience and trusted relationships while also maintaining agility and access to market intelligence.
VA: Which window is increasing in sales? (FTA, SVOD, etc)
SA: No one territory is the same. In some regions we are seeing significant increases in sales across linear platforms. In other territories, we are seeing a proliferation of new OTT services. The excitement and opportunities in our business are increasing daily.