MIPTV, how do I count the ways?
No matter the grand themes selected to market the event from one edition to the next, MIPTV is about content – its development and its distribution. It seems straightforward but given the questions we all raise when getting ready for a new edition, I do wonder if this simple concept has not been lost in the image the Cannes-based event so desperately seems to be trying to hold on to.
On the one hand, you have Cannes, which brings to mind images of jet-setting glamour, classic French luxury, red carpets and all the trimmings associated with the world-famous film festival. Those of us attending MIP for the past years have seen the reality – from a wider perspective, we should not be complaining. But we do. The city itself is in much more of an unkempt state than the luxurious Riviera setting suggests – which is unfortunate. Cannes has long been surpassed by its own fame and romantic image, and not much is being done to bring it back to life.
Second, the venue – the Palais des Festivals. Opened in the early 1980s – and expanded toward the port in 1999 – it currently seems unsuited for the type of industry events it hosts. Walking tight dark corridors, up and down endless flights of stairs, trying to figure out where your next meeting is, one feels closed in and far removed from the openness and vibrancy associated with the creative industry. The 1999 addition, the Riviera structure, with tall ceiling and wrap-around windows overlooking the port, is closer to what one would associate with a media event in Cannes, but the overall feeling is that even this is in need of a good dusting-off and a marathon brain-storming strategy meeting.
Have I complained enough? Well, if so, you have been introduced to the classic MIPTV meeting – like weather in London, this is the starter subject for most conversations: complaints about the venue and estimations about attendance, which everybody expects to decrease from one edition to another. I do not have the numbers, but it did seem very thin this year.
But, to business. Insight TV is in a fortunate place within the Palais – our booth is in that newer structure by the port, overlooking boat masts, the sea, and the old town up on its hill. Something I for one take advantage of when setting up meetings, managing to largely stay put in a busy back-to-back meeting environment by inviting partners for a nice cup of coffee and a welcomed breath of fresh air on the terrace. And, if it’s a sunny day, it does make for a good meeting.
I digress – as mentioned, MIPTV is about content. As the industry is keeping an eye out for trends, as headlines scream that linear is dead, cord cutting is skyrocketing, we measure our success from one new launch to the next. General trending topics are of course important to monitor, and the disruption is there, but just like mainstream media is battling half-truths and flashy headlines, we need to assess the facts and focus on our targets. Insight TV is a producer and broadcaster of fantastic (if I do say so myself) 4K UHD HDR content. Our productions center around the unfaltering backbone of any good TV product: the story. And, on an equal footing we have our stand-out element – the 4K. Or UHD if you wish – the terms are interchangeably used within the industry, if not technically correct. Natively produced UHD, I must add, as we, unlike others, do not upscale.
Our tech specs are industry standard, we are pioneers in the UHD market – quite a risk when Insight TV first launched (at MIPCOM 2015, btw), but with 4K TV set sales literally skyrocketing (a bow to the headlines) and more and more platforms implementing the capability, UHD take-up is on the rise. And Insight TV is in a good position within this animated environment. Thus, MIPTV is still relevant to us. Still. This may change, as we, like others, continue to asses our presence at the event from one year to the next.
2019 has been labelled UHD’s year of maturity and that is a headline I can agree with. Multiple roll-outs are taking place and plans are moving forward, as platforms large and small are increasingly addressing viewer demand, and better understanding all the associated acronyms, but especially their value to the consumer. And this was reflected at MIPTV 2019 which hosted fourteen 4K sessions, taking UHD uptake beyond the buzz and into the industry mainstream.
The buzz this edition was around 8K, with screenings taking place at the Palais des Festivals. And, as I’ve mentioned our pioneering spirit, we are already adding 8K productions to our catalogue, even if we are aware that at this point it’s more about “yes, we can” than about building a business model. But, yes, we can. And those of our partners developing 8K capable products count on us to deliver the high-spec content which showcases the crystal-clear splendor.
All this being said, whether complaining or bragging, if you want to discuss good unscripted content for a millennial audience or if you have questions about 4K and may wish to screen our content or test our UHD channel, do get in touch. We can meet for a nice cup of coffee on the R8.C19 adjoining terrace. And, I can recommend the best place for baked camembert in Cannes – which, for all our complaining, does have many lovely places to enjoy. So, until any decision on MIPTV 2020 is made, see you at MIPCOM!