×

MipJunior eyes digital dynamics

Bizzers look to widen rev streams

CANNES — Digital opportunities were the talk of the MipJunior confab, with top-level U.S. and international players discussing new production models, cross-platform branding and revenue streams at the weekend tyke mart.

Kids are inhaling content right now; the key is understanding how they are using technology and being there with them, said Stuart Snyder, topper of Turner’s Animation, Young Adults and Kids division, during his keynote speech.

“I don’t think everything has to be created as a show; things can be started as shorts, games or apps.”

The exec said Cartoon Network, celebrating its 20th anniversary, was developing original content for the Web and mobile.

Saban Brands prexy Elie Dekel talked about developing an app based on “My Pet Monsters,” which was popular in the late 1980s as a toy, toon and film. “If all goes well, we’ll extend it to new formats.”

Added Dekel, “Mobile content is quicker to market, it’s not as expensive to test and produce, and it has a business model that, if successful, can be very compelling.”

Nickelodeon has also been thinking outside the TV box.

“Our content comes from different places today,” said Jules Borkent, senior VP of global acquisitions and intl. programming at Nickelodeon, citing “Fred: The Movie,” inspired by the YouTube series about Fred Figglehorn.

In Europe, leading broadcasters including DR in Denmark or Super RTL in Germany, have been transforming their channels into multi-platform brands.

But execs across the board agree this cross-media strategy is still marketing-driven, rather than advertising-driven.

“So far only 5% of our advertising revenue comes from digital. The biggest chunk still comes from linear television,” said Claude Schmit, CEO of Super RTL, which is owned by RTL and Disney, and ranks as Germany’s most popular children’s channel.

Bolstered by its new Digital Kids conference program, MipJunior pulled record attendance. More than 570 buyers and 1,166 participants (100 up on 2011) turned up at the mart, which wrapped Sunday.

“MipJunior’s success reflects the international appetite for youth programming across all screens,” said Laurine Garaude, head of Reed Midem’s TV division.

Garaude said two highlights were the Canadian Screenings looking at Canuck digital creativity and the MipJunior international pitch, a new competition for the next multiplatform brand, won by Colombian producer 4Direcciones Audiovisual’s “Ooommm-Mmmooo, Yoga for Children.”

Meanwhile, animated shows sparked more buyer interest than live-action programming, with toon skeins taking eight slots out of the top 10 most-watched shows. The top three were Maravista’s pre-school show “Julius Jr.,” FremantleMedia’s live-action sci-fi skein “Alien Dawn” and another pre-school title “Boy and the Dinosaur” from Foothill.

Yet broadcasters still have an appetite for live-action shows, said Lagardere Entertainment Rights head Emmanuelle Bouilhaguet. She unveiled a promo of live-action skein “Which Is Witch” produced by Lagardere’s Genao banner. “Although the live-action market has traditionally been dominated by U.S. networks like Disney and Nickelodeon, there’s room for independent producers.”

Like others at the market, Bouilhaguet said she had felt the impact of the recession on dealmaking.

She added, “Prices are falling and it’s become very difficult to close deals in some territories like Spain and Italy, which is why having a high-end franchise-based property like ‘Xiaolin Chronicles’ on our slate is more than ever essential.”

More TV

  • Sarah Schechter David Madden

    Berlanti Productions Names Sarah Schechter Chairwoman and Partner, David Madden President

    Greg Berlanti, the prolific founder of Berlanti Productions, has promoted Sarah Schechter to the newly created role of chairwoman and partner, where she will continue to oversee both television and film at the company. And David Madden, the former AMC and Fox executive, will be Berlanti Productions’ new president, reporting to Berlanti and Schechter, overseeing [...]

  • Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang speaks

    Andrew Yang Joins CNN's Roster of Contributors

    Former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang has joined CNN as a political commentator, the AT&T-owned cable-news outlet said Wednesday, the latest addition of an influential political figure to a TV newsroom’s ranks in a heated news cycle. “I’m excited to join CNN to help shed light on the election and the candidates’ experiences,” Yang wrote [...]

  • Nickelodeon Plans to Leap From 'Henry

    Nickelodeon Plans to Leap From 'Henry Danger' to 'Danger Force'

    Henry Danger, the title character in Nickelodeon’s longest-running live-action sitcom, is about to leave the network, But that doesn’t mean there won’t be other superheroes to try and grab hold of its young audience. The kids-focused cable network, part of ViacomCBS, will launch a new spinoff, “Danger Force.” The new series will star two characters [...]

  • Issa Rae Interview Variety

    Issa Rae’s Raedio Partners With Kobalt for Global Publishing Deal

    Kobalt today announced a worldwide publishing deal with Emmy-nominated actor-producer-writer Issa Rae’s company, Raedio Publishing, LLC. The global partnership with Raedio includes creative and administration services, which includes providing guidance and funding on new Raedio signings, pitch Raedio’s writers, artists and library for synchronization opportunities and provide admin services, according to the announcement. Rae has [...]

  • Cash in the Spare Room

    Discovery Forges Ahead With Lifestyle, Entertainment for HGTV, Quest Red

    Discovery has signalled a growing reliance on lifestyle and entertainment content with a slate of new and returning shows. New commissions “The Nolans in the Mood for Cruising,” “Cash in the Spare Room” and “Clear Out Cash In” will air on Discovery’s free-to-air channels Quest Red, HGTV and Really, respectively, while recommissions “Helicopter ER” and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content