There was an unmistakable sense of opportunity in the air last week as international media movers and shakers convened in Cannes for the annual Mipcom market and conference.
Big European players in particular sense that openings are starting to emerge in what had been rigid business models and licensing protocols for the largest streaming platforms. The rush to cut costs and consolidate operations in the U.S. means that demand will be strong for imported content, ranging from unscripted shows in all shapes, formats and sizes as well as scripted series that can be offered a relatively low price point for U.S. buyers.
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This was the big takeaway for me after three days of meetings, interviews, receptions and dinners on the beautiful Cote d’Azur. On the way home, I combined my passion for train travel (it’s the best way to see a country, in my experience) with my love of yakking about the media business by capturing my thoughts as I locomotored through the French countryside on one of France’s great Ouigo high-speed trains. From Marseille, it takes about three and a half hours to get to De Gaulle Airport in Paris. It was a wonderful way to unwind and unpack the many conversations I had for the latest episode of Variety‘s weekly podcast “Strictly Business.”
Some of those conversations were done on stage at the Palais des Festivals. This episode features highlights from my interviews with Paramount Global CEO Bob Bakish, who was feted as Mipcom’s Personality of the Year; Canal+ CEO Maxime Saada, who was honored with Variety and Mipcom’s Vanguard Award; and Eva Longoria and Cris Abrego, who announced their new Banijay-backed venture, Hyphenate.
By far the most emotional interview of last week was with Nadav Palti, CEO of Israel’s Dori Media. We sat in a small room in the Dori Media booth, which was bustling with activity. Palti was the picture of Israeli resolve as the calmly explained his reasoning for sticking with his plan to attend the conference, despite the outbreak of war between Israel and Hamas.
“If we let our enemy dictate our life or dictate what we are doing — they win,” Palti said. “We’ll not let them win. Winning is not only on the battlefield, it’s a 360-degree operation. We have to continue. If not, they will win.”
“Strictly Business” is Variety’s weekly podcast featuring conversations with industry leaders about the business of media and entertainment. New episodes debut every Wednesday and can be downloaded on Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Spotify, Google Play, SoundCloud and more.
(Pictured: Bob Bakish, Maxime Saada, Eva Longoria and Cris Abrego)
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