Fanny Gilabert and Jerome Alby
French company Mediatoon successfully manages and markets iconic shows worldwide, and thanks to its in-house studios (Belvision, Dargaud Media, Dupuis Audiovisuel, Ellipsanime, Storimages), third party producers and other major anime partners, the group has a catalogue consisting of over 4.000 hours worth of entertainment for kids and family. During Mifa, Jerome Alby, Managing Director / DG of Global Sales, Presales, Digital Exploitation, and Financing at Mediatoon, explained to Señal News which are the clients’ needs in these post-pandemic times.
● How do you see the market after two years without it?
“For me, Mifa is definitely the comeback-market for animation. In terms of trends, the pandemic period had a huge impact on the growth of all of our non-linear deals and developments. Actually, 2020 was one of our best years in terms of revenues because everybody was in front of the TV, so we renewed so many SVOD deals and got lot of new ones. Furthermore, the AVOD offering that we manage -we have 200 YouTube channels today- worked really well. In terms of what the market is looking for, there is definitely much more serialized demand also in animation, maybe because of the fact that sometimes channels acquire that type of content both for linear and non-linear. There is also a strong demand for comedy, and for broadcasters, if it is a well-known brand, it is better.”
● What changed from the pandemic times to this new normal?
“It feels like we are getting back to normality, and sometimes I also feel some anxiety to know what is coming up. We decided to restructure and reboot in terms of creation. We are now focusing on all different genres, offering content that goes from preschool to teen and adult animation. We even have anime, which is really working out right now. We have some titles such as the anime-adjusted show ‘Zombillenium’ or the manga-adaptation show ‘Dreamland,’ which we announced during our press conference at Mifa.”
● Regarding genres and stories, which are the differences between linear and non-linear clients’ demands?
“Regarding traditional TV channels, there has been a really strong acceleration of the shift from linear to non-linear, but I think that shift is more a mix of both models. Since the traditional networks are all restructuring, they are all trying to find a model that combines both the linear and the non-linear experience, which is also a real challenge for them. In the end, we are trying to better address the audience, and the Covid helped with that, because people spent so much time in front of the screen and broadcasters now have a much stronger view on what they need and want. With that in mind, when they come to a company like us, we can definitely address all those needs they have.”
● Did the pandemic accelerate the increasing demand for content?
“Exactly. The tricky part is that, at the end of the day, the money has not increase that much, so it is all about how to be creative enough to come up with an idea that broadcasters will like, or be able to listen to what broadcasters are looking for. You can learn how to optimize quality, but at the end of the day you cannot have quality without spending money. That is the challenge that we have as producers and distributors.”
● What is the challenge of finding new stories?
“One of the key topics is getting all the storytelling and the writing right. If that is okay, our challenge is being able to bring that to life in the right way. That is why we try to make sure we get all the right talent to work with, and also that the team is conformed by people all over the world in order to better address the audience. Our main goal is trying to make a show as global as possible. We all like stories, and if you manage to tell them in a very unique way, normally you can reach everybody.”
By Diego Alfagemez, from Annecy