This year, our CEO Luc Voncken, along with his colleagues Benjamin (Licensing Director) and Senta (Senior Licensing Manager), participated in MIPCOM Cannes again. MIPCOM, known as the world’s largest gathering of movie, TV and entertainment experts, offers numerous networking opportunities and paves the way for interesting new business relationships. The focus is on exciting content and the latest entertainment trends. We sat down for coffee with Luc to find out how such a visit usually goes and why it often ends with sore feet.
As with any trade fair visit, good and timely preparation is key for MIPCOM. In August, our Licensing team started planning for Cannes – so well in advance. Only then can all appointment requests and wishes be implemented. In total, we managed to take over 50 appointments in 3 days – a record number!
At MIPCOM, unlike many traditional trade fairs, most of our meetings do not take place within the main venue, the Palais. Instead, we find ourselves in local cafes, bars, beach clubs, and hotel suites. This has us as buyers on our feet constantly, covering over 10 km daily.
Our typical day begins with breakfast meetings, followed by a series of appointments at the Palais. We often make a pit stop at Café Roma, Cannes’ most renowned meeting spot, before heading back to the Palais for more sessions. Lunches are usually business catchups, and the afternoon is a mix of sessions at the Palais, cafes, and hotel lobbies. As the day winds down, exhibitors host “stand parties” – invaluable networking events. We usually conclude our day with a dinner amongst business associates.
Naturally, our meetings primarily revolve around content. As buyers, we outline our needs to the content providers, and in turn, they introduce us to their available programs. Once MIPCOM concludes, our focus shifts to follow-ups. We obtain screeners and lists of available content, which our Licensing and Programming Team assesses for potential deals.
At the MipTV event in April, which is a smaller counterpart to MIPCOM, we noticed the ongoing trend of FAST. The rise of “Free-Ad-Supported Streaming TV” channels is evident, as more linear channels and AVOD platforms are emerging. This leads to an abundance of free content options, but the viability of their monetisation remains to be seen. Yet, one thing is certain: we can expect market consolidation in the near future.
The oversupply in the market presents CLIQ with an interesting opportunity. The vast array of thematic niche channels can enhance our platforms and help us reach diverse audiences. We’ve also observed the impact of the Hollywood writers’ strike on the availability of new content. Major streaming services, which lean heavily on original content, might face challenges in 2024 and the subsequent years. On the other hand, we see an opportunity. Our strategy emphasises licensed catalogue titles, so we aren’t tethered to marketing exclusive “flagship” content.