BUENOS AIRES — Jonathan Olsberg, who speaks at Ventana Sur, calls it a “production deluge.” According to Ampere Analysis’ Guy Bisson, talking in a podcast last week, in the third quarter of 2018 the number of unique SVOD homes in 16 maturer markets around the world overtook the number of unique pay TV homes.
Also, fundamental changes are afoot in the power balance for content. In annual outlay on content, the combined spend of Netflix, Amazon and Hulu in 2018 was $17.5 billion, Bisson added. That already outranks Disney ($13.4 billion), NBC Universal ($13.2 billion) and Fox ($11.6 billion), he said.
The 10th edition of Buenos Aires’ Ventana Sur, the biggest Latin American film market, is the first to take place not only in the context of the launch of one or two U.S. OTT disruptors in Latin America – Netflix and Amazon Prime Video – but with the imminent launch of three new entrants, Comcast/Sky, Disney/Fox and AT&T/Time Warner.
Ventana Sur’s Fiction Factory TV conference strand and general presentations at Ventana Sur address head-on the consequences.
One is the ever greater need for co-production. In a globalized film and TV market, is co-production the answer? That is the title of Peter Nadermann’s Fiction Factory keynote. For a TV producer who helped turn Scandinavian crime thrillers into a Nordic Noir feeding frenzy, co-producing them out of Germany’s ZDF Enterprises, it is a very much a rhetorical question.
“Co-production gives us the chance in times of rising budgets and weaker channels to make programs possible where partners can share the cost, make productions bigger and stronger on the international market,” Nadermann told Variety before Ventana Sur.
But there are dangers, such as, as ever, co-pro puddings. “I was never interested in co-productions which are only financial models. I bring originals to Germany and to Europe and to the world. So I’m not interested in bringing German actors to Argentine shows, that could happen but that’s not the idea,” added Nadermann, whose credits at Cologne’s Nadcon Film include Spain’s Baztán movie trilogy and 2019 Berlin opening film “The Kindness of Strangers.”
After a welcome from Ralph Haeik, president of Argentina’s INCAA film-TV board – Fiction Factory is very much his initiative – Roy Ashton. The Gersh Agency’s head of TV lit & packaging, will talk on How To Sell a TV Series. Mega Global Entertainment’s Esperanza Garay analyzes The New Scenario for Content Distribution. The classic business model is being transformed, she’ll suggest.
Some insight into that may come from panels technically outside the Fiction Factory strand. Given traditional pay TV operators are launching their own OTT platforms, making series for OTT platforms may become the majority experience for producers, argues Manuel Martí, at Argentina’s Pol-ka, one of Argentina’s top TV production houses. Martí will speak on a general Ventana Sur panel, IP Value Chain in the Current Audiovisual Environment.
He will analyze financing models and rights ownership in such an environment. We live in an era of fast fiction, in more ways than one, Martí will suggest. A series which takes two years to produce may be consumed in one weekend. Series will be shorter, producers will often make more of them.
The huge new demand for high-end content is one thing, meeting it quite another.