Multiplatform Expected to Be Focus of Attention at MIPTV 2011

written by: Richard Kastelein

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Gary Smith, senior reporter for the MIP Publications, has written an excellent analysis on the new content paradigm and 2011's buzzword - Multiplatform - over at MIPBlog titled Multiplatform deals galore expected at MIPTV - a great piece reflecting the seismic shift in the content industry, due to massive disruption as media convergence becomes a reality. He pretty much sums up - in two sentences - what we at were hoping to see this year at MIPTV... and looks like we are going to get.

While it would be pretty much impossible to quantify how many deals will be done at MIPTV, one thing is certain: classic contracts, covering the acquisition of a property for TV broadcast, or simple co-production deals, are increasingly rare. They are now replaced by multiplatform agreements covering broadcast, narrowcast, webcast and game-based spin-offs.

Augmenting some brilliant quotes we heard only a few weeks ago from Ynon Kreiz, CEO of the Endemol group who told attendees at the a recent event called Digital Life Design that "Social TV is Going to Be Huge" (the backbone of multiplatform formats and a core proposition of the burgeoning Transmedia movement)... furthermore - he encouraged people to “get up, leave this room” and run to their garages to get to work designing the future of social TV. “Whoever figures it out, will be the next Steve Jobs of this generation.”

Smith pulled some more poignant quotes out of the hat in his Q&A foray with some other heavy hitters in his piece:

“In terms of trends, we think formats that have a multiplatform element built in will be a big draw this market,”Tom Toumazis, chief commercial officer, Endemol, says. “We’re continuing to see a rapid roll out for our most recent interactive hit, The Money Drop (photo), created by Endemol UK. So far it’s been sold to 14 territories and counting,” says Toumazis.

“One of the hugely successful elements of the format is the way it allows viewers to play along simultaneously online at home – so far we’ve had more than 4 million game players from around the world. We expect there’ll be more big news on this format soon including major markets coming on board and the launch of Play Along Apps for the iPhone and iPad.”

What we call co-creation in the web space - or in MIPTALK co-productions and co-funding are critical in order to get series made and on the air according to Nick Thorogood, MD Food Network, EMEA - but with caveats:


“A lot of projects need many partners before an idea gets the greenlight, and although there is less risk for broadcasters and more opportunity to make the budget go further, it does mean that the production partners and the idea itself have to have a wide editorial vision suiting many markets to make such agreements work,” Thorogood says. “And this is affecting the ways in which shows are being put together.”

That's a huge drawback - and sounds more like the Pablum effect than quality content - which, although may appear to be easy to digest - will have a hard time being spoon-fed to an ever-niching audience. But it's back on track with some words we use a lot around here - 'platform agnostic' and 'second screen'.

“Deals will certainly need to reflect a more platform-agnostic approach to content – with assets having rights available for all manner of devices, and this in turn links directly to the idea of value-added shows where there is content that can feed a second screen, someting that I think will be particularly important in the lifestyle genre.”

Francois de Brugada, executive vice-president, Banijay Entertainment, told Smith that the content industry is increasingly transcending the traditional boundaries of TV.

“The effect of this is that television companies’ competitive set is changing, as is their product, and the way it is acquired and sold in Cannes - content suppliers aren’t just competing with other television producers, they’re now competing with any other producer of leisure activities, in fact anything that attracts eyeballs! Our ideas are no longer confined to a number of episodes of a television series, we’re now free to sell all ideas and concepts that have the potential for multi-platform exploitation. From a simple, smart interactive app, to a complex mega-entertainment format.

We tend to look at media convergence through a different lens here at - one that was ground from the web space - from Open Source Software to Open APIs and SDKs - an ecosystem that embraces many to many rather than one to many. We talk about Long Tail rather than Quick Buck and Making a Good Living is more appropos than Making a Killing in our lexicon.

And multiplatform innovation will be driven from both the technology and creative sides - but they will have two work together and there will need to be people that can really bridge the two. Apple, Facebook and Firefox browser are all excellent examples of how open standards can drive innovation way beyond what can be achieved in a proprietary, closed environment. Apps are not rocket science - whether than be one screen apps on the some 140 million Connected, Smart, Internet-enabled TV expected to be on the market by 2014. Or on a tablet, mobile device, desktop, laptop, notebook.... et al. Let's just call it TV Everywhere.

Is this a glimpse of the future of Screen Technology?

Gary Smith - whom I have quoted heavily in this piece - is a senior reporter for the MIPTV News & all MIP Publications. You can see his last MIPBlog post, on coproductions, here. See you there!

About the Author

Richard Kastelein
Founder of The Hackfest, publisher of TV App Market and global expert on Media & TV innovation, Kastelein is an award winning publisher and futurist. He has guest lectured at MIT Media Lab, University of Cologne, sat on media convergence panel at 2nd EU Digital Assembly in Brussels, and worked with broadcasters such as the BBC, NPO, RTL (DE and NL), Eurosport, NBCU, C4, ITV, Seven Network and others on media convergence strategy - Social TV, OTT, DLNA and 2nd Screen etc.

He is a Fellow of the UK Royal Society of Arts (RSA) and UK Royal Television Society (RTS) member.

Kastelein has spoken (& speaking) on the future of media & TV in Amsterdam, Belfast, Berlin, Brussels, Brighton, Copenhagen, Cannes, Cologne, Curacao, Frankfurt, Hollywood, Hilversum, Geneva, Groningen (TEDx), Kuala Lumpur, London, Las Vegas, Leipzig, Madrid, Melbourne, NYC, Rio, Sheffield, San Francisco, San Jose, Sydney, Tallinn, Vienna, Zurich...

He's been on advisory boards of TEDx Istanbul, SMWF UK, Apps World, and judged & AIB awards, Social TV Awards Hollywood, TV Connect & IPTV Awards.

A versatilist & autodidact, his leadership ability, divergent and synthetic thinking skills evolved from sailing the world 24000 miles+ offshore in his 20′s on sailboats under 12m.

He spent 10 years in the Caribbean media & boating industry as a professional sailor before returning to Europe, to Holland.

A Creative Technologist and Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Metis) his career began in the Canadian Native Press and is now a columnist for The Association for International Broadcasting and writes for Wired, The Guardian & Virgin. His writings have been translated into Polish, German and French. 

One of Kastelein's TV formats was optioned by Sony Pictures Television in 2012. 

Currently involved in a number of startups including publishing TV App Market online, The Hackfest and Tripsearch TV. As CSO for Worldticketshop he helped build a $100m company.

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