16 NOV 2021

Petra Schneider: “The need for reliable information has become stronger”

The Director of Sales and Distribution at DW explains the German company’s strategy in the after-pandemic world and analyzes the clients’ current needs.


German public state-owned international broadcaster Deutsche Welle is little by little regaining its presence in global content markets, meeting again in-person with its clients and partners. Petra Schneider, Director of Sales and Distribution at DW, explains the company’s strategy in the after-pandemic world and analyzes the clients’ current needs.

▸  What is the company’s strategy now that the industry is getting back in person?

“Step by step, we are getting back on the road. MIP Cancun is the first big market we will be attending outside of Europe and we are thrilled to be meeting our partners in person again. Of course, there still are some travel restrictions, but wherever we are allowed to go, we will go. Distribution is a people’s business, and we cannot wait to see all our custumers and partners again. At the same time, the pandemic taught us to stay in touch digitally and to learn about our partners remotely, but nothing compares to personal interaction. Therefore, DW will work on a balance mix of digital and in-person meetings”.

▸  What are the client’s new needs in this after pandemic context?

“The need for reliable information has become stronger. There is a renewed focus on engaging documentaries, which is the core of everything DW and DW Transtel are doing. During the pandemic we have seen environmental content getting a lot of attention, so we are very pleased to have such a strong slate of science series and specials. At the same time, due to the pandemic, we also see a trend in programming that extends people’s horizons, particularly travel, culture and wildlife topics”.

▸  What is the company’s strategy in terms of coproduction?

“As an international broadcaster, DW has always cooperated with regional companies. This experience helps us when it comes to coproduction of documentaries. For us, coproductions are a gateway to the audience, and they increase our relevance. That is why we are also embracing documentary projects, and we are looking in the digital space. A recent example is ‘Her,’ which features universal topics such as marriage, dating, and friendship through the eyes of Asian women. This series was coproduced with local production houses, we have just launched it and it is very successful on OTT platforms across Asia. We will like to continue this kind of coproductions, where local and personal stories shed light on universal topics, providing a more personal perspective of global issues”.

▸  Is there any specific region where you would like to increase your business?

“In terms of our catalogue sales, we have a very broad client base across all regions. There is no particular country or region that we focus on. However, we are very proud to offer a catalogue with Spanish, English and Arabic language versions, so we have a natural affinity to those markets. This week at MIP Cancun we will focus on our partners in Latin America, and in December the focus shift to Asia in the ATF”.

By Diego Alfagemez & Federico Marzullo