Harlan Coben
Courtesy of Studiocanal

LONDON — Television conference MipTV has revealed that its keynote speakers will include best-selling author Harlan Coben, Mattel’s president and chief operating officer Richard Dickson, and president of Vivendi Content and global managing director for the Havas Media Group Dominique Delport. It also announced that it will put a spotlight on German programming during the tradeshow.

The trio of speakers at MipTV, which runs from April 4-7, will explore how today’s talent-led ecosystem is increasingly powered by communities of fans. “This means the traditional content value chain is transforming dramatically, with broadcasters, platforms and creators having to connect to enthusiastic audiences – millennials, Gen Z and beyond – through attractive, innovative, and sticky content,” said Reed Midem, which organizes the event.

Coben’s novels have sold more than 60 million copies, and the last eight novels all debuted at No. 1 on the New York Times bestseller list. His 2001 thriller “Tell No One” was adapted into a hit French-language movie by Guillaume Canet and, more recently, French channel TF1 adapted his novel “No Second Chance” into a six-part series that became the highest-rated French TV series in a decade.

Harlan recently agreed to write the screenplay for 10-part thriller series “The Five,” which was ordered by Sky in the U.K., is produced by the U.K.’s RED Production Company and will be distributed by Studiocanal. It will be the first original story Coben has written exclusively for the screen.

Dickson is responsible for all aspects of Mattel’s portfolio of consumer brands, including Barbie, Hot Wheels, and Thomas & Friends. Through the company’s content development and distribution teams, consumers are provided with a wide range of “engaging and exciting experiences” across multiple platforms, including movie specials, series and short-form content. Mattel’s properties are also “deeply engaged with fans through the digital ecosystem, digital video and vlogging talents.” Mattel has been named MipTV 2016’s Brand of the Year “in acknowledgment of its track record as an innovative content creator and forward thinker.”

Delport is a member of the supervisory board of French media and telecoms giant Vivendi. In September, he was named president of Vivendi Content, the unit tasked with discovering talent and investing in new forms of video and music content for the group’s different brands, including Canal Plus, Universal Music Group and Dailymotion. Delport is also global managing director for the Havas Media Group, where he oversees all brands, clients and commercial activities.

“We’re really looking forward to hearing from these three inspirational keynote speakers, who are contributing to re-defining how content is created, experienced and distributed. They truly embody the MIPTV 2016 overarching theme, the Power of Fans,” said Laurine Garaude, director of the television division, Reed Midem.

MipTV also announced its Focus on Germany, which will put the spotlight on German TV programming. It will “provide TV professionals with an opportunity to discover new German programming, meet top-level executives from the German TV industry, and forge new partnerships with German producers,” Reed Midem said.

Lead partners, Red Arrow Intl. and ZDF Enterprises, will host conference sessions on international production and co-production of TV programs. Other German media companies confirmed as partners with the Focus on Germany program include Deutsche Welle, Global Screen and WDR. In addition, Beta Film will host a screening on April 4.

German companies have the fourth biggest presence at MipTV. In terms of revenue, Germany is the world’s second biggest television market, with more than 40 million TV households. The market is showing growth across all sectors, in particular pay TV and VOD, which grew by 7% in 2015 to reach some €2.6 billion ($2.82 million).

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