What I Expect From MIPCOM 2011 – Torsten Hoffman

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torsten hoffmann farbe 1 225x300 What I Expect From MIPCOM 2011   Torsten HoffmanTorsten Hoffmann, Managing Partner of Global Media Consult – a distribution company that includes one of the largest catalogues of stereoscopic content , shares his thoughts, observations, hopes and expectations for MIPCOM 2011.

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MIPCOM, the world´s largest entertainment content market, will attract thousands of media execs to Cannes, France in early October. The past few markets have seen a steady increase in 3D content that distributors are pitching to buyers. At MIPTV in April, the organisers also published a 3D supplement for the events´ magazine, invited a number of 3D speakers to the conference and installed a special 3D section in the exhibition area.
But the third dimension has clearly not made a breakthrough yet and I don´t think we will see much change. Personally, I believe we will continue to see a rather slow transition. What does this mean?
  • It is very likely that we will see more booths equipped with 3D TVs.
  • More and more distributors will have 3D titles in their portfolios.
  • There will be more co-production announcements with 3D production companies, especially from the large UK and USA markets.
  • We will see more press coverage about new, innovative formats.
However, let´s not get overexcited. It is easy to get carried away by all the hype but just because 3D is popping up everywhere in events like MIPCOM doesn´t mean that the consumer demand is suddenly taking up. I have written about the "Hype Cycle of 3D TV" (http://3dcontentblog.wordpress.com/2011/07/11/the-hype-cycle-of-3d-tv/) and this model is always good to have in mind when we hear about enthusiastic or sceptical voices.
People watching 3D TV What I Expect From MIPCOM 2011   Torsten HoffmanSo it may make sense to take a closer look at the new 3D distributors. How many titles of their total portfolio are 3D (5% or 50%)? How many of the titles are converted, instead of native 3D? And even more important is the buy side: Are the buyers starting to spend real money? So far there are only two or three major buyers of 3D content - and effectively these are the only ones that are commissioning large 3D projects.

While 3D titles may get 20% of the PR buzz, I estimate that the 3D market measured in actual US-Dollars may only be 2% of the total industry. That´s why I will be most interested to hear about first-time 3D co-pro deals by established large players.

3D sports events have been the cornerstone of almost every single new 3D offering. We all know the pull effects that Wimbledon, the NBA or the English Premier League can create. Unfortunately these events are very costly to produce (large production teams, many cameras, live coverage) and lose value almost immediately (have you ever watched last week’s game?). So, I will look out for sports related content in 3D with a longer shelf life and great 3D effects. Red Bull Media is one company to look out for.

There is no denying the fact that 3D fared very well in theatrical releases (45-70% of total box office over this summer). Now, let´s see whether these titles will also be signed on by the few 3D channels that sky 3d behind the scenes shot What I Expect From MIPCOM 2011   Torsten Hoffmanare currently on air. Do these 3D channels have a buying monopoly on the major 3D titles and therefore make 3D TV distribution for the studios a lousy business? Or do the studios in effect create a new release window with 3D i.e. the 3D titles will be broadcasted on 3net before they go to HBO? If this is the case, we will see much more 3D content soon, in theatres and on TV. There is no doubt that 3D is a blessing for Blu-ray distributors, but will we finally see the first 3D VOD platforms offering favourable terms to content holders this year? 

Finally, MIPCOM traditionally is a very international market, so will the buyers of tier-two territories finally be buying 3D content? These are some of the questions that I will seek answers to. But one thing is for sure: There will be plenty of sellers with great titles and even more producers with great 3D ideas looking for money. Let´s hope that this year 3D dimes turn into 3D dollars.

About TH What I Expect From MIPCOM 2011   Torsten Hoffman
GMC Logo neu What I Expect From MIPCOM 2011   Torsten HoffmanTorsten Hoffmann, 35, is a recognized leader in 3D content as the distributor of one of the largest stereoscopic 3D portfolios in the world. He tweets @3DContentBlog, blogs at 3DContentBlog.com, speaks at many conferences and is currently Managing Partner at Global Media Consult (GMC) where he also represents 40 international pay TV or Free-to-Air channels.
He coordinates GMC’s worldwide network of independent experts, consultants and agents with more than twenty international offices in Europe, Middle East, Africa, America and Asia. Additionally Torsten is a Director at WildEarth.TV, a 3D wildlife channel from South Africa featured a few months ago on 3D Focus.