What was the talk of MIPTV 2023? Here are the top takeaways.

MIPTV Media Mastermind keynote by Evan Shapiro

The Emmy award-winning executive producer on Portlandia and NYU Business Professor Evan Shapiro gave this year’s MIPTV Mastermind keynote. 

In it, he stressed the importance of taking a multi-platform approach to making and distributing content, saying, “Don’t only think about binary traditions. Streaming, linear and social are all combining on a day-to-day basis and we are entering a new era.” 

Papercup sees its clients embracing this fact. Case in point – The Jamie Oliver Group has been laser-focused on building an audience on social media (in English but also in Spanish via AI dubbing), an audience that followed him into the FAST space when The Jamie Oliver Channel launched on Samsung TV Plus.

The Jamie Oliver Channel on Samsung TV Plus. Source: Samsung TV Plus

Scripted slows down as unscripted ramps up

As covered by Deadline, Anna Marsh, CEO of Studiocanal and deputy CEO of Canal+ Group, and Jane Featherstone, Co-founder and Chief Creative Officer at Sister, highlighted in separate keynotes that scripted content is heading into a period of austerity. 

As Deadline reports, “MIP delegates reflected on how TV drama buyers are being far choosier with their projects, due in the main to spiralling budgets, the cost-of-living crisis and chaos in the American market.” This will not only play out in a return to much longer greenlight periods but buyers opting to greenlight shows with proven success in other countries. Featherstone suggested these shifts could usher in a “painful” period for the drama market.

Conversely, there is lots of interest in original concepts in the unscripted world and a propensity for buyers to take a gamble on new shows. Hollywood reporter, in MIPTV takeaways piece, put it well: "Reality TV’s promise of low-cost, high-volume production is also particularly appealing in the current economic climate."

FAST & Global summit summary 

This year, MIPTV hosted its first ever FAST & Global summit, which kicked off with a ‘key trends in global and FAST’ presentation by Marion Ranchet, founder of The Global Act, and Variety’s Senior Media Analyst, Gavin Bridge. With European TV broadcasters entering the space, the two said this marked the blurring of lines between FTA and FAST, rather than a fight between the two. 

They also remarked that due to the projected growth in FAST channels, content providers will need to focus more on content strategy and differentiation to drive discoverability and engagement. A looped playlist is no longer good enough and the importance of curation is a key learning from the US growth for those in Europe and ROW to adopt from the outset.

In a panel discussion of FAST heavy-hitters, Olivier Jollet, Executive Vice President and International General Manager for Pluto TV at Paramount, focussed on Pluto’s programming strategy as a key to the platform’s success. "We tend not to take pre-programed channels,” he said. “We prefer to program the channels ourselves. It's the biggest team at Pluto after engineers, the programming team is about 100 people."

In an interview with TBI before the MIPTV FAST summit, he stressed that “exclusive content and a strong local offering are key to success in the FAST space, not necessarily original content – which Pluto currently has no plans to commission.” 

Meanwhile, Bea Hegedus, Executive Managing Director of Global Distribution at Vice Media Group, talked FAST distribution. A key consideration for her, ahead of Vice’s launch of two new FAST channels, is, "How can I be highest up in the EPG?" As she explains, "Sometimes that means we need to give them [the platforms] the [FAST] channel and VOD [authorization] so they can put our content into their channels. The more places our content is, the better for us!"

And in his panel discussion on FAST monetization, Valerio Motti, VP of FAST Channels at Fremantle, touched on the complexity of the FAST monetization ecosystem, as key players continue to weigh up the benefits of revenue share vs. inventory share for FAST distribution. Elsewhere, Rob Christensen, Senior Vice President of US Sales and Global Distribution at Vevo, noted that, while his company only does inventory share, the multitude of players involved in the process between advertisers and channel owners mean monetization strategy will be an ongoing conversation.  

In the final FAST forecast and wrapup session, Omdia’s senior research director, Maria Rua Aguete, said that FAST channels will generate $6.3bn in revenues globally. However, FAST channel growth will be quickest outside of the United States over the coming years. Aguete revealed that the UK, Canada, Australia, Germany, Brazil, Italy, Mexico, France, Spain, and Sweden are the top ten non-US markets poised for growth. 

While the US will continue to dominate the market, a $1.6bn revenue opportunity will emerge for FAST channels outside of the US by 2027.

The projected increase in FAST channel revenues by 2027. Source: Omdia

Despite the packed FAST events, Deadline reports that “Mip delegates were split on just how much of the pie is taken up by FAST: Some believe it to be right up there with traditional streaming, while others remain sceptical.” What is for sure is that there is a lot of buzz around FAST and it’s potential for growing revenue streams in an evermore pinched media landscape.

For more on the FAST opportunity abroad, download TBI’s report that sizes the opportunity outside of the US.