Emmanuelle Bouilhaguet, Managing Director at Lagardère Studios Distribution and María García-Castrillón, Sales Manager at Boomerang TV, explained their strategies to reach the current success of the company.
Lagardère Studios Distribution-the distribution arm of Lagardère Studios, is promoting a very complete lineup much more mainstream than ever before. The French company is pushing two new series in the international marketplace “Blackout” (10x45’) coming from Belgium and “Commandos” coming from Netherlands. “We have strong pitch targeting the linear and not linear buyers,” asserted Emmanuelle Bouilhaguet, Managing Director at the distribution company to Señal News.
“We have some Spanish series as ‘El secreto de Puente Viejo’ and ‘Acacias’ that are still on air”, said María García-Castrillón, Sales Manager at Boomerang TV, production partner of Lagardere. “These series continue to be reference products and, despite the years, they maintain the interest of the public”, affirmed.
Boomerang TV is also producing “Inés del Alma Mía” that will arrive next year and is shooting a “Merlí” spin-off. “”Merli’ was very successful in Latin America because it reached all kinds of audiences, both adult and more youthful and had a great impact on the channels. Thanks to its success, a spin off is taking place and will come out at the end of the year”, anticipated the Sales Manager of the Spanish production company.
Lagardère Studios Distribution offers content from Lagardere and sometimes from Boomerang TV but also from other producers. Its catalogue of nearly 10,000 hours of programming includes fiction, animation, documentaries and also feature films.
“We have a lot coming from ourselves because we need to find out some content with international appealing and not all the fiction series are appealing for the international market,” explained Bouilhaguet. “However talking about the language, it’s true that it’s changed for the past ten years where maybe it was more difficult at one point to sell to English or there were very small sales but I guess with the platforms,with the subtitles that Netflix, Amazon and the oher ones are proposing locally, it has opened the mind of the viewers to screen some series which are not English or local”, completed the executive.
According Bouilhaguet, Netflix is just one reason of the wide distribution. The second reason is the quality that Lagardère Studios Distribution has now in its series. “They are much more international in the quality of the production and in the topic”, added.
The Managing Director of the distribution company also asserted that crime series travel much more. “Most of the broadcasters are looking for crime, is the main genre that we can see that travel,” said. “Comedy, for example, which is more local, sometimes is more difficult to travel except as a format, but this is one of the trends”.
Lagardère Studios Distribution was very interested in sell its series in Spain but at first was very difficult because the local production is very strong. “Even the US series are not very popular except in summer time”, confirmed Bouilhaguet. “But something happened last year when certain Pay TV broadcasted some French content and that open up a little bit the interest of the broadcasters. So we sold all our series in Spain to AMC, to Cosmopolitan, to Paramount, to Calle 13,”affirmed the executive.
“The change of model, with the arrival of the SVODs, meant that the content stays on the platforms and the Pay TV had to open to more content and that gaves to the distributors the opportunity to sell them content that they did not look for before because they had their American premieres or their premieres came from their platforms,” analized García-Castrillón. “In Latin America, however, Spanish content is very well accepted, although it is still difficult to sell European fictions, but little by little the market is opening up in the región”.
“What is very important as a distributor is to have some strong content and new things coming up all the time, if is posible, content that is appealing for everyone, but we are having content that also sometimes could be more appealing for certain aspect of our business like ready-made vs formats because we are doing much more formats than before, and sometimes like comedy that could fit maybe in certain territories and not others”, asserted Bouilhaguet.
For 2020, Lagardère Studios Distribution will continue in the field of mainstream series and thinks that is appealing for linear and not linear. “We will try to take some risks because we need to have some good stories which are a little original. We are working with different producers in more atypical stories”, concluded.
By Romina Rodríguez