The last day of NEM saw two panels that were dedicated to content, as well as a useful presentation from Aspera on the topic of fast and safe protocols and data transfers. NEM 2017 was concluded with the panel about Croatian production and changes in legislature, where the special guest was the Minister of Culture of the Republic of Croatia.
After four days of panels, networking opportunities, markets and other business forums, New Europe Market closed its doors today. The last day saw interesting discussions on the topics of content and content sharing. Thomas Ahrens from Aspera, an IBM company, explained to the audience their unique and patented protocol based on software that is already in constant use in major Hollywood studios. The guarantee of their quality is confirmed by several Emmy’s.
There is no doubt that one of the most visited panels was „You Can’t Stop Me: The Power Of TV Channels“, which dealt with the question – do we have too many or too few channels on the market? Karin Heijink, Vice President of Content and Products at Viasat World Limited, put it simply:
„Nobody told me that there are too many books that were written, so I think the same goes for TV channels! More scrutiny has been put on the quality of channels than on quantity.“
Michael Moriarty, President for AMCNI – Central Europe at AMCNI – UK noticed that TV channels have to change quickly, and it’s a natural selection that is going on today in this business. Bartosz Witak, Senior Vice President and General Manager at Viacom for CEE & Israel, expressed the wish for less general entertainment channels and for more representative genres for business models that fit the TV industry.
„Genres have changed, there is not enough quality content on the channels, something that is unique is missing. I know this by watching my kids: their role-models are YouTube stars and that content is terrible!“, said John Rossiter, General Manager for Central Europe for Sony Pictures Television Networks.
Victoria Davies, Senior Vice-President and Country Manager at Discovery Networks Central and Eastern Europe confirmed that the problem is not the number of channels, but the quality of their content. She said that some channels simply lack a clear business plan, which doesn’t make them competitive on the market. The panel was concluded with Moriarty’s final words:
„I have to admit, Croatia has done a great job on the market in terms of distribution and new content. Croatia is a growing and successful market and there is a lot of potential here to develop!“
Keshet International representative, Paula Cohen McHarg and Croatian producer Nebojša Taraba, the creator of the local series „The Paper“ held a Case Study about this series. At NEM 2016, Keshet International and Taraba signed a contract, with which Keshet bought the rights for the distribution of „The Paper“. Since then, the series was a success and was sold on the foreign market. Cohen McHarg explained how Keshet has a strong diversity of different formats that are topical and different and when they saw the series premiere at NEM 2016, they knew they had to acquire rights. They have revealed how they used marketing and a PR plan to spread the word about the series and how everything was communicated at the biggest market conferences in the world.
The last panel at NEM 2017 saw a very lively discussion concentrated on the reform of the media law package, which should dramatically change the role and position of Croatian Radiotelevision (HRT), and not only within the Croatian media landscape – this reform is supposed to place HRT at the very centre of cultural and creative industries and processes in Croatia and beyond. The special guest on this panel was Nina Obuljen Koržinek, Minister of Culture of the Republic of Croatia. She said that she is glad that the Croatian market is opening and diversifying and we can clearly see that TV production and the e-gaming industry are getting bigger and bigger each year. On the topic of legislative changes, the Minister confirmed that the reform is on track:
„By the end of this year, we will finalize the process that has started 4-5 years ago with the previous government. In 2018 we expect to review all relevant legislation, but these chapters and laws are connected with the European Union on two levels: the revision of audio-visual media services, which I don’t know when it will be finalized, and the development of a digital common market. Media and cultural diversity presence on the new reformed market is an imperative.“
Marija Nemčić, Head of International Relations Department for HRT, confirmed that HRT and the Croatian Government are finalizing a new contract for discretionary public tenders and that HRT now has to face many challenges – they have to be even more visionary, present on all platforms and innovative.
Dario Vince, Director and member of the Croatian Association of Independent Producers, said that they are carefully approaching this agreement and that they don’t want to get their hopes up, but are greeting this change for production. The Minister concluded after an interesting debate about producers that the field should not be overregulated and that she is happy and will give full support to negotiations of this framework of cooperation between the national broadcaster and independent producers.
The panels at NEM 2017 have drawn a greater audience than ever before and media interest was ever growing. NEM has succeeded in showing that it is the most relevant event in the CEE region. See you in 2018 in breath-taking Dubrovnik!