Patrick Zuchowicki: Discop record attendance is proof of the vitality of the African market
More than 2,100 participants from 92 countries showcased the exponential growth for Africa’s biggest TV content market, with this year’s 11th edition seeing a more than 50% increase in attendance of key industry players from across the globe.
Patrick Zuchowicki of event organizer Basic Lead said those numbers were proof of the vitality of the African TV content market.
“The 58% year-on-year attendance growth for the Johannesburg market was primarily fueled by the presence of independent TV content producers…who have come to realize that the continent is in a position to offer incomparable coproduction and distribution opportunities,” he said.
Among the highlights last week were the signing of six major collaborative deals between companies from Africa and China, which was this year’s guest country; the announcement that Turner Africa had inked a deal with Nigeria’s ConSat to air its new kids’ network, Boing; the launch of Africanews, a multi-lingual, pan-African news network, owned by the Lyon, France-based Euronews; the announcement that TV4 Entertainment will be licensing pan-African VOD platform Buni.tv for streaming on platforms such Amazon and Vimeo in the U.S. and U.K.; and a deal between South Africa’s M-Net and Ivory Coast’s RTI that saw the South African web acquiring a significant amount of content from the Ivorian pubcaster.
On the heels of a successful year in which Discop hosted two African markets for the first time, all eyes were already set on Abidjan, which will be hosting its second Discop Africa from May 31-June 2, before the market returns to Johannesburg from Nov. 2-4, 2016.
At a gala dinner on Nov. 5, South African Minister of Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa described Discop as a “meeting of minds” that is vital to the creative health of the continent.
“Discop Africa, through focusing on the content needs of African audiences, through giving space to emerging creators as well as seasoned professionals, helps to activate the television and film industry into embracing the knowledge that surrounds us and is also to be found within us,” he said.