Targeting the global audience, Travelxp highlights the beauty and diversity of India making it a major contributor to upscaling India’s visibility in overseas markets. By Pavan R Chawla . Meet Travelxp at MIPCOM Stand No. P-1.C1
Over the last few years, aviation companies have spoilt Indian travelers with regular discounts and airfare sales across the year from lean period to peak holiday seasons. An upsurge is witnessed in the number of Indian travelers. They are seen travelling a lot within and outside the country. This evolution has taken place in stages, through different age groups and tiers of cities, but has happened. The concept of weekend getaways, staycations and short-hauls has added the new travelers in the segment. Travel has indeed become a need in the last 10 years. Targeting the global audience, Travelxp highlights the beauty and diversity of India making it a major contributor to upscaling India’s visibility in overseas markets. The channel came to life in 2011 with this objective; cut to 2018, the English language channel is a brand in itself having reached over 92 million homes across the world.
The channel has successfully introduced 4K HDR technology — the next generation of high-definition content and is distributed in DTH / Cable TV / IPTV platform as a linear 24 hour television service in countries including United Kingdom, USA, Canada, Germany, Netherlands, and Belgium etc.
Prashant Chothani, CMD & CEO of Travelxp has led his passionate team which is churning content based on six main categories that appeal to viewers from all walks of life. Its high quality content – its soul, has therefore found a favorable position in the hearts of travel connoisseurs the world over. The content strategy that is followed at Travelxp is based on the destinations, food, culture, nature, heritage and lifestyle.
A few popular destinations based content are City breaks, which inspires one to venture out and explore a huge range of locales. It seeks out new places, diverse cultures, exotic cuisines – everything a city has to offer. It will break the presumed definition of travel by reveling in the rich history and culture of the places rather than visiting only popular sights.
Backpack is the story of a solo wanderer set out on a mission to figure out beauty, complexities and character of different places in the world. It is based on experiences, lessons and memories as the anchor explores the diversity of a country. The show is a window seen through the eyes of a traveler thoroughly new to all that it has to offer.
One of the most popular shows on Travelxp is Thali – The Great Indian Meal that takes food and travel aficionados on a quest to explore the flavors and assortments of one of the most traditional fares of India – the Thali. Viewers can explore various aspects of food, ranging from street food to lost recipes and luxury cuisines in what is a great window to understand the culture of every region through the local and unique delicacies it has to offer.
Food Fact Fun is another great show for people who are always in a dilemma on reaching a place about what to see, what to do and what to eat. The show is a perfect mix of adventure while delving into the true essence of a destination through its food and facts with some fun activities. It brings out the raw self of the city. Most recently, Travelxp launched “10 Days Cyprus” which showcases the unique and extraordinary Mediterranean island nation. The show revolves around a traveler who visits a place in 10 Days, and covers all the exciting places.
In April this year, Travelxp launched on the Freeview platform, reaching nearly 99% of TV homes in the UK, which added a whopping nearly 16-million TV homes to the 75 million-plus TV homes that it reaches worldwide. Every television manufactured in the UK after 2008 includes an in-built Freeview tuner that enables it to receive channels from Freeview, which is operated by DTV Services Ltd, a joint venture between the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Sky and transmitter operator Arqiva. It has also launched in Singapore last month, available with Chinese subtitles, and it is already available in half a million homes.
Nisha Chothani, Director – Travelxp, said, “The network intents to expand to at least 15 more countries by the end of 2019 fiscal, and Latin America is one of them. I am delighted to announce every new show that we introduce to global viewers, especially shows that capture India’s beauty. These shows have been created in the best Travelxp traditions of world-class mainstream travel content, shot in exquisite 4K and HD with multicultural hosts for immersive engagement.”
Prashant Chothani has been at the forefront in setting innovative business models and technology advances. An innovator, thinker and strategist, he has guided and mentored the team at his channel, the world’s leading travel TV channel, Travelxp, to launch the world’s first 4K HDR channel, Travelxp 4K, in North America, Europe, MENA & the Asia Pacific.
There is no other similar instance of any Indian Media & Broadcast leader having given the world any such great technological advancement in public broadcast or any other allied space.
Chothani has also helped the technology of 4K make enormous strides by helping refine and hone its development as part of the exclusive group — World 4K Forum. Chothani has received several prestigious international awards for innovation in Broadcast technology from the best global forums.
With over 30 years of experience and expertise in all facets of the media and broadcast business, Chothani is co-founder of Travelxp Media Worldwide Limited, which owns and operates a global network of television channels. Travelxp, the world’s leading travel channel, has become a global brand, distributed to over 75 million homes worldwide.
Chothani is also CEO & co-founder of India’s leading music channel network with 4 channels — Music India, Sangeet Bangla, Sangeet Marathi and Sangeet Bhojpuri, under the Media Worldwide Network.
As mentioned above, Chothani has also earned high respect for having been a key evangelist of the Media & Entertainment space – from having played a key role in helping legalize cable TV operations in India way back in 1988, to creating an innovative business model for promotion of film and music brands on television channels, to pioneering the launch of Travelxp HD, India’s First HD television channel in 2011, and more.
Zee TV’s Global Content Hub holds one of the most significant international libraries in the world with 250,000+ hours of premium content including 4,300+ movie titles. Meet Zee Entertainment at MIPCOM Stand No. P-1.K51
Zee TV’s Global Content Hub is a major creative and broadcasting entertainment programming force and is a one-stop-shop offering award-winning programs in every genre – historical, romantic, family and thriller dramas; reality and formats; adventure and travel; scripted comedy; kids; lifestyle and fitness programs, and much more, all in variety of languages including Hindi and English.
It is one of the most significant international content libraries in the world with 250,000+ hours of premium content including 4,300+ movie titles.
Here are some of Zee’s offerings:
THE LIFE OF EARTH FROM SPACE
Brand New Factual Documentary
60’ x 2
This spectacular feature documentary special delivers a cinematic, blue-chip view of the entire life history of our planet, as you have never seen it before. Our planet’s greatest moments and our most dramatic catastrophes are all visualized in this special feature, as if seen from satellites, airplanes and drones.
Brand New Season
60’ x 6
Their day may be approaching fast, but these overweight couples are determined to make one big change – lose weight – before walking down the aisle. Twelve weeks before their nuptials, the future bride and groom are paired with trainers and begin their transformation. But of course, there’s a twist that no one will see coming!
KUNDALI BHAGYA (DESTINED LOVE)
Kundali Bhagya is an intriguing story about two young girls Preeta and Shrishti. They discover the existence of their mother – Sarla and their sister Pragya, after the death of their father. Amidst this journey of mixed emotions the girl’s cross paths with two rich brothers, Rishabh and Karan. The story will then introduce romance, drama and dispute in the lives of Preeta, Shrishti, Rishabh and Karan.
Brand New Season
30’ x 13
In each episode of Finding Fido, canine expert Seth Casteel helps an enthusiastic dog owner-to-be find the perfect companion for his or her lifestyle. Whether a sociable dog that can help owners overcome shyness, an active dog that encourages exercise, or even a dog that can help detect the onset of an owner’s epileptic seizure, Seth matches each participant’s specialized needs and criteria to his or her new best friend.
AAP KE AA JANE SE (UNCONVENTIONAL LOVE)
30’ x 100
“Aap Ke Aa Jaane Se” is an illogical love story between a 42-year-old middle class, conservative single mother, Vedika and a 24 year old irresponsible, maverick, Sahil, from a traditional, super rich business family. Will their love be enough to bridge the gaps… or will the rules of society become a death sentence for their Love?
RAZIA SULTAN (THE WARRIOR PRINCESS)
30’ x 170
Razia Sultan is an intriguing historical drama revolving around the warrior princess Razia Sultan. The show beautifully depicts the life of Razia Sultan, who went on to become the first woman emperor of the Delhi Sultanate.
Available in Spanish / English & Arabic
PIYAA ALBELA (MYSTIC LOVER)
The story is about a young talented girl, offered an unusual job! A business tycoon needs her help to get his son out of the ascetic life he has been so far living. At first she is hesitant to accept this challenge but she takes it up considering the money offered. In this journey, she discovers the reason for the male protagonist to live an ascetic life; and will eventually develop a connection with him! The story will take audiences through her journey.
Available in Spanish / English & Arabic
KUMKUM BHAGYA (TWIST OF FATE)
30’ x 1100
The story follows the life of a mother who runs a marriage hall and lives with the hope of seeing her two daughters, Bani and Bulbul, happily married some day! The plot centers around Bani and Bulbul, two sisters their dreams, aspirations and their inter-twined destinies as seen from the eyes of a mother.
ZINDAGI KI MEHAK (MEHAK’S JOURNEY)
30’ x 505
Zindagi ki Mehek is the story of a young and positive girl, Mehek. Mehek has magic in her fingers and can cook great food. Mehek believes that good food is very essential for a good life. This show is her journey through life with the talent she possesses.
ISHQ SUBHAN ALLAH (LOVE – OH MY GOD)
30’ x 150
Ishq Subhan Allah traces the journey of Kabeer & Zaara, two individuals with contrastingly opposite nature. While Zaara is more liberal in her thoughts, Kabeer is quite conservative in his approach. Things do not remain the same when both get married to each other. Will Kabeer and Zaara adapt themselves according to their partners’ different perception towards life?
JEET GAYI TOH PIYAA MORRE (AGAINST THE ODDS)
30’ x 240
“Jeet Gayi Toh Piyaa Morre”, based on the lines of Beauty & The Beast, the story centres around two rival families The Chauhans & The Rajawat’s. Marriage into the Rajawats was considered a curse, but fate took an unfortunate turn, and the Chauhan’s had to marry their daughter ‘Devi’ to Adhiraj who is the grandson of the Rajawats. But little does she know that marital life will be anything but normal.
At MIPCOM, Green Gold will be looking for buyers/ broadcasters/ OTTs for its existing catalogue and commissioners/ co- producers for its new animated shows that are in development. Meet Green Gold at MIPCOM Stand No. P-1.K69
Green Gold Animation has robust, experienced and dedicated teams for 2D (Flash) and CGI animation, capable of handling and delivering animation work with impeccable quality.
It is a leading animation company engaged in creating wholesome entertainment for kids of all ages across all nationalities. With over 1200 artists working out of our India and US offices, it has produced several kids IPs that are running successfully on many major kids TV channels and new media platforms, including Cartoon Network, Pogo, Disney, Amazon Prime Video & Netflix.
Over the years, the popularity of its animated characters has transcended television, and it has helped the company establish itself as a leading player in L&M, movie production, digital business, retail and more.
Its offerings at MIPCOM are:
Title: Dragon Kingdom
Duration: 13 Episodes of 22 minutes each Style: 3D HD Genre: Action, Adventure Target demo: 6-12 years Synopsis: At the emperor’s request Bheem and friends agree to stay back in China to explore the kingdom and it’s nearby villages making new friends and defeating foes both new and old.
Title: I am No # 1
Duration: 104 Episodes of 7 minutes each Style: 2D HD Genre: Comedy Target demo: 6-11 year Synopsis: In the jungle there can only be two no #1’s.
Title: Jungle Trouble
Duration: 104 Episodes of 7 minutes each Style: 2D HD Genre: Comedy Target demo: 4-11 years Synopsis: Four carefree and primitive jungle beasts vs a greedy, high tech penguin and his thuggish side kick rhinoceros : JUNGLE WINS!
Title: Duchess (TV Series)
Duration: 26 Episodes of 22 minutes each Style: 2D HD Genre: Action, Adventure Target demo: 6-14 years Synopsis: High fashion meets psychedelic spy adventures in this fast paced and stylish series.
Title: Kalari Kids
Duration: 60 Episodes of 11 minutes each Style: 2D HD Genre: Action, Adventure Target demo: 4-8 years Synopsis: Surrounded by a mystical jungle, Beenu and Raaka’s teams face new challenges everyday with a hint of magic and tackle them using Kalari.
The two-day enTTech Show will bring together Indian services industry in the M&E space and companies from international markets under one umbrella.
The Services Export Promotion Council (SEPC) has announced the launch of its second edition of enTTech 2019 scheduled to take place March 7-8 in Mumbai. SEPC which is organising and managing India Pavilion at MIPCOM will host an enTTech evening at MIPCOM at the India Pavilion on October 16.
In an attempt to celebrate India’s strengths in the creative and technology services arena and to partner with the rest of the world, SEPC is working towards brining M&E delegations to enTTech at MIPCOM.
Business and B2B meetings will be major focus at enTTech. “We will continue our engagement with enTTech global delegates in partnering them with Indian M&E companies. Our goal is to encourage our small M&E companies to find a foot-hold in the global market as also our larger companies to spread and deepen their global footprints,” says Sangeeta Godbole, Director General, SEPC.
The two-day enTTech Show will bring together Indian services industry in the M&E space and companies from international markets under one umbrella.
enTTech will exhibit an array of services offered by the Indian M&E companies and match make needs of the overseas production houses.
The Media and Entertainment industry is one of the most dynamic sectors in India with modern technologies acting as a key enabler for providing world-class services to overseas clients/companies.
The industry is increasingly witnessing the convergence of media, entertainment and technology creating efficiencies in workflow, revenue streams and unique business models.
Indian media, entertainment and technology services are growing at an accelerated pace on the back of growing offshore services domain, especially in animation, VFX, gaming, AR/VR, film production, location and new media, among others. The Indian animation and VFX services have gained a lot of traction among the international producers and production houses.
The wide level of internet penetration plays a huge role in the advent of Digital media. Easy access to the network makes it possible for the people to access the digital media anytime and anywhere, says Kandaswamy Bharathan, Joint Managing Director, Kavithalayaa. Kavithalayaa is at MIPCOM with its Digital series ‘Harmony with AR Rahman’
The Internet is the greatest thing that ever happened to the entertainment industry –Michael Ovitz.
India has always been the home for media content. There has been a steady increase of 11-12 per cent every year in the number of people turning towards Digital Media. The advent of Digital India Initiative in the year 2014 has played a pivotal role in the growth of internet penetration. With almost over 477 million internet subscribers and over 300 million smartphone users in India (according to an EY study 2018), Digital Media is getting the necessary traction. This has enabled platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hotstar etc. to make their foray to get their slice of entertainment and business. ‘Binge watching’ web series became a house-hold habit. With the TV programs now being aired on digital platforms and applications, statistics shows that the number of people using their mobile to watch these shows are almost equal to that of the ones watching in television.
Social media is playing a huge part in propagating Digital Media. The Digital India initiative is noteworthy due to the ‘word-of-mouth’ culture that’s prevailing among the youth centric crowd which dominates the social media. The wide level of internet penetration also plays a huge role in the advent of Digital media. Easy access to the network makes it possible for the people to access the digital media anytime and anywhere.
India is not only known for movies and fictional content. We have noteworthy documentaries and non-fictional shows as well. Kavithalayaa is a 37-year-old production house, founded by the maverick story teller K Balachander, with 58 films under its production belt, and over 110+ serials to its name, has stepped into the Digital OTT platform with its very first non-fiction digital series ‘Harmony-with AR Rahman’, which is streaming globally and exclusively on Amazon Prime Video from August 15, 2018.
‘Harmony with AR Rahman’ is a curated musical and a visual exploration of the versatility of Indian music across years, transcending all barriers. Epitomizing the idea that “Sounds are many but Music is one”, this series is a true celebration of music with Mr Rahman bringing about the mind, body and soul in harmony with themselves and with Mother Nature.
The five-part digital series which was aired this year on Amazon Prime, has Rahman travelling across the country in real-time to meet the musicians in their very own dwellings and experience their traditional art forms. As the series unfolds the lives of the musicians, their day-today practices, performances and teaching of their craft to students, their stories of struggle and the challenges that come along, the audience will get to understand what it means to keep such a rich musical heritage and tradition alive in the 21st century. With viewers from India, USA and UK, this series has a rating of 9.5 in IMDb.
Indian content with international appeal has achieved a wide reach and a discerning global audience that has grown steadily. With an internet savvy audience and one of the youngest populations of the world (65% of India’s population are under the age of 45), the need for selecting the appropriate content has never been more critical. The OTT players in India sign up deals with both the television companies and digital platforms where the content either gets released on TV or the digital platforms first and then made available in the latter. They have to be on the constant lookout for fresh, differentiated and engaging content. The EY study forecast says that by 2020 the number of online consumers in India is expected to cross 4 million. So, the time for Indian content creators has finally arrived!
Content has evolved from being made for television in a linear form to an age where it is now made for a screen with a mode of delivery in mind, says Dinesh Gupta, Founder & MD of Sacom Mediaworks. Meet Dinesh at MIPCOM Stand No. P-1.B2
2008: A family of 5 gets in front of a television screen in their living room to get their daily dose of entertainment and family time.
2018: There are 3 television screens in the same home with every member owning a 4G enabled touch screen mobile device, each consuming content of their choice, either on a television screen which is delivered via cable, direct to home or internet, or on their handheld devices.
They choose to stream content on their personal device or simply mirror it from their devices on their television sets. This metamorphosis has made the transformation of M&E business a constant phenomenon, from content to viewers, platforms, modes of delivery and last mile devices that consumers consume on, all have evolved. While this ecosystem is now more well defined than it has ever been, evolution seems like the single biggest reality that will consistently continue to keep redefining the content business.
Content has evolved from being made for television in a linear form to an age where it is now made for a screen with a mode of delivery in mind. Appointment viewing pattern has drastically reduced to a point that it is now limited to daily soaps, news to some extent, with a large part of it being dominated by the live sports broadcasting globally. A viewer now finds content of his choice, on a screen of his choice at a time of his choice. Netflix introduced the binge-watching concept for high quality content, redefining how content can be consumed and invested heavily in making this simple yet path breaking pattern a way of life for its users. Different users of the same family can now use the same Netflix account in a way that they consume content of their own choice, yet find a personalized user experience based on their consumption patterns.
So, each of them have a different world of their own on the same platform. Netflix was ingenuous as it was the perfect marriage of content strategy and technology – a simple reimagining of the existing status quo that we inherited from appointment viewing based broadcast.
This metamorphosis has also brought an amazing pattern, where every form of delivery platform has found its own distinct viewer, while the consumer has now become content loyal and platform agnostic. There is a very clear distinction between the free and the paid user, between a Free TV and a Pay TV user, an AVOD on OTT, YouTube & SVOD user. Choice has not only spoilt the consumer but has also given them a much clearer sense on where they belong, even though this maybe dynamic. Mechanics on what to serve the consumer, where and how to find him are very well defined now. The quest for platforms to stay competitive is creating consolidation and new strategies that can help them drive growth.
Over the top platforms have a very deep learning of their consumers, trends and patterns that are driven by data analytics and machine learning. They are also able to deliver unparalleled user experience thanks to a variety of algorithms and AI driven recommendation engines.
Localisation has further been a vital tool for platforms to help improve content consumption. Platforms and devices are constantly working to improve user experience based on what a consumer really wants and adapting to technological innovations that can aid this. This helps digital platforms understand, predict and plan on how they can retain a consumer and bring new users into the fold. The media industry, in its latest avatar, has created a need that consumers previously, perhaps, were unaware of – choice. And this need of choice, quite ironically, has reduced his affinity to any particular brand or platform of content delivery.
But over the air broadcasting can’t be dismissed outright. Yet. Television viewing patterns have drastically changed and evolved and so has its audience. Platforms have worked hard to keep pace to stay relevant in these challenging times. No denying that media fragmentation and personalization has taken a lot away from the TV business, though they have worked to keep their content relevant by subscribing to catch up tv and over the top products addressing the same consumer and bringing back the lost consumer, as they find new ones in a bid to build newer sources of revenue growth.
Most developing and under developed countries witness sizeable amount of content consumption on television, which ends up as their primary medium of choice with reasonable growth driven by good content and innovations.
Metrics on how the TV business can deliver customization and a better user experience have been limited, though TV constantly works to add newer technologies, evaluate viewership patterns in deeper detail to plan an apt content strategy while maintaining the balance between subscription and advertising revenues. Media fragmentation, depleting subscription and advertising revenues have brought better cost controls and innovative methods for television networks to maintain viewership.
Mobile network operators now take a very keen interest in the M&E business. They view the content business as their single biggest tool to grow their data consumption and improve their ARPUs. With the world moving to 1 Gigabyte per second speed on broadband and 5G mobile networks, the single biggest business to be impacted by this change is be the M&E business content is consumed. This dynamic has also led to some of the leading global telecom giants like AT&T, Vodafone & Jio to invest in buying or partnering with television networks. This pattern is likely to stay and will provide the television business with the push it needs to survive and grow.
Mobile network operators will continue to evolve the world of television and content in the near future. The mode of distribution has changed and will consistently continue to change in the future. Content production and distribution are getting integrated. Content creators are increasingly investing in high end premium slates that are redefining rules of the game. High speed internet connectivity, access, high quality content, better devices at all price points, personalization and mobile network operators entering the M&E business are key drivers of today’s content ecosystem. All these are today’s truths that will become tomorrow’s history. The only absolute truth is that content business will be in a continuous state of evolution. And to stay topical we need to stay fluid – as organizations and as individuals. And that isn’t a choice; it simply is a necessity.
(Dinesh is the Founder & MD of Sacom Mediaworks, a content company that works to create, distribute and monetize content that reaches over 80 countries globally across Television, OTT & Telco platforms. Sacom owns 12 content IPs in 20 languages ranging from Health & Wellness, Food, Travel, Sports, Bollywood, Kollywood, Hollywood & women’s content. Sacom also has a proven track record of producing & distributing content for global markets, it has successfully distributed over 5,000 hours of content to 40+ platforms in 5 continents and 15 languages. Dinesh also co-founded TripFactory.com. Dinesh is at MIPCOM and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)
MIPCOM. It’s that time of the year. Undoubtedly, MIPCOM is the finest in the global media markets that empowers delegates to network with the best business minds, capture emerging trends, listen to masterminds, create business for products and services and think innovation.
MIPCOM has brought together world’s top TV and digital content executives, including 13,800 delegates from more than 110 countries, 4,700 buyers and 2,000+ exhibition companies. The number of SVOD and digital platforms attending MIPCOM is on the rise. It is a must attend for decision makers to grasp the new ecosystems in the media business.
It is the largest gathering of the global entertainment content industry, bringing together producers, creators, distributors, studios, independent production companies, investors, talent and thousands of programmes from every genre.
Reflecting the state of the industry, this year’s central theme at MIPCOM is ‘The Big Shift: Transitioning To A Reshaped Media Landscape’. Throughout MIPCOM’s conference programme, one can hear from top thought-leaders and talents including actor, producer and MIPCOM Personality Of The Year Issa Rae; BBC Studios’ CEO Tim Davie; ITV’s CEO Carolyn McCall; AMC Networks’ president and CEO Josh Sapan; Endeavor CEO Ari Emmanuel; Twitter’s vice-president and global head of content partnerships Kay Madati; celebrity chief and campaigner Jamie Oliver; and critically-acclaimed creators Alex Pna, Lorenzo Mieli and Eric Newman..
With over 110 countries represented, MIPCOM is the home of the global television industry and this year it will be showcasing China as country of honour. It will give delegates the opportunity to discover the latest programmes coming out of China, learn about the trends in the Chinese TV market and meet with existing or future partners in the Chinese production and broadcasting sector. China has already made a splash at MIPJunior positioning its strength in the animation space. Over 200 Chinese delegates are at MIPCOM 2018.
Over 90 Indian media and entertainment companies are at MIPCOM with a wide range of content for global consumption. For the first time Services Export Promotion Council, set up by the Ministry of Commerce, Government of India will manage and organise India Pavilion at MIPCOM. Click here for India Directory at MIPCOM. Eros Now will premiere and showcase its new original Smoke at MIPCOM on Monday. Top Indian M&E companies including Reliance Industries, Reliance Entertainment, Zee Entertainment Enterprises, Star India, Viacom18/IndiaCast, DQ Entertainment International, Greengold Animation are at MIPCOM.
Television is about entertainment and MIPCOM is where great shows are launched. This year is no exception, with the World Premiere TV Screening of CBS’ Ben Stiller-directed Escape To Dannemora; the MIPCOM pre-opening screening of new Russian drama Trigger and the World Premiere TV Screening of Movistar+/Telefonica’s original series The Pier from creators Alex Pna and Esther Martinez Lobato- both brought to Cannes by Beta Film; and the Asian World Premiere TV Screening of Nippon TV’s Way Too Kawaii!
MIPCOM has announced that China will be its 2018 Country of Honour. The world’s entertainment content market, MIPCOM takes place in Cannes, France, from 15-18 October.
“China has now emerged as a major producer and consumer of film and television. We have confidence and the capacity to play the leading role at MIPCOM, present to the world great Chinese stories and work with our colleagues around the globe to usher in a better future,” said Mrs. Ma Li, Director General of the International Cooperation Department of the National Radio and Television Administration, People’s Republic of China.
“The Chinese television and entertainment sector has a special place within the MIPCOM and MIPTV community going back to 2004 when MIPTV welcomed the largest-ever delegation of Chinese TV executives at an international television market. As MIPCOM 2018 Country of Honour, China will be showcasing its wide range of programme genre destined for international television channels,” commented Laurine Garaude, Director of Reed MIDEM’s Television Division.
The announcement comes hot on the heels of new industry data reporting that China is now the second largest television market in the world, overtaking the United Kingdom and behind the United States.
According to a report from IHS Markit, China spent $10.9 billion on television programming in 2017 compared to $10 billion in the UK. TV broadcasters spent $6.4 billion while online giants Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent invested $4.5 billion to provide programmes for their online entertainment platforms. Original programming accounted for 49% of shows aired in China with the rest being made up of acquisitions (46%) and sports programming.
“In recent years we have seen the growth in Chinese shows being presented at our events for sale to international broadcasters and an increase in cross-border partnerships between Chinese and international producers. We anticipate that the trend towards Chinese content being exported to international territories will speed up over the next two to three years and we are very keen for MIPCOM and MIPTV to be part of that process,” noted Reed MIDEM’s Laurine Garaude.
“At MIPTV 2018 we showcased several Chinese formats including ‘National Treasure.’ And in the documentary sector, the agreement between Tencent and BBC to produce high-quality documentaries is an indication of the desire to develop bilateral production partnerships,” added Laurine Garaude.
The MIPCOM Country of Honour programme will include conference panel discussions on the Chinese market during MIPJunior and MIPCOM, multiple showcases of the latest Chinese programmes, a Chinese-themed Opening Night Welcome Reception, a look into the hottest shows from China in the popular Fresh TV presentation and the largest-ever China Pavilion.
Side Hero with Rohan Sippy: Featuring Kunaal Roy Kapur as a fictionalised version of himself – the less successful younger brother of a hotshot Bollywood producer and star – this comedy-drama follows Kunaal trying to land a leading role in a bid to prove that his profession of acting is not just a ‘hobby.’ (Target release September 2018)
Smoke: An unflinching look at the politics within the drug mafia that resides in the intoxicant riddled underbelly of its tropical paradise, Goa. Smoke is led by an all-star cast including Jim Sarbh, Gulshan Devaiah, Kalki Koechlin, Mandira Bedi and Tom Alter amongst others. (Target release October 2018)
Dashavatar with Anirudh Pathak: When mankind became corrupt and greedy, Lord Vishnu, the protector of the realms, incarnated to vanquish evil and save the world. Dashavatar tells this fascinating story of Vishnu’s reincarnations. (Target release December 2018/January 2019)
Ponniyin Selvan with Krish Jagarlamudi: A multi-seasonal, multi-lingual show based on the famous Tamil novel. Written in five volumes, Ponniyin Selvan narrates the story of Arulmozhivarman – later crowned as Rajaraja Chola I – one of the emperors of the Chola Dynasty, during the 10th and 11th centuries. (Target release March 2019)
Flesh with Siddharth Anand: An eight-year-old girl goes missing and her NRI parents are forced to seek the help of a suspended female cop in their search for her. An ex-human trafficker is blackmailed to join the search or else risk his sinful past catching with him. (Target release March 2019)
Mrityulok with Zeishan Qadri: A story that shows a mirror to the ruthless, selfish face of the society and how we all are culprits in a system that offers no incentive to “be good”. (Target release March 2019)
Bhumi with Pavan Kripilani: A survival thriller set in a dystopian version of Delhi which begs the question, how far is our reality from this supposedly fictional dystopia? (Target Release April 2019)
Crisis with Nikhil Advani and Gaurav Chawla: On his 50th birthday, Dr Gopichand Wadhwani – one of India’s top cardiologists – decides to follow his childhood dream and become a rapper. Crisis is a story of two generations coming together to help each other get from life what they want. (Target Release May 2019)
Sanyasi Raja with Prakash Jha: A fictional depiction of the infamous Bhawal case of West Bengal, in which a possible imposter claimed to be the prince of Bhawal, who was at that point presumed dead for over a decade. (Target Release June 2019)
Kurukshetra: The tribals thought they were Gods. The army thought they were militants. What they turn out to be, are five children with ‘superpowers’ emerging from a genetic mutation. And with destinies that, almost uncannily, resemble the trajectory of the Mahabharata. (Target release TBD)
Blue Oak Academy: A teen-drama thriller that follows one young boy’s quest to exact revenge with the most prestigious academic institution of the nation. (Target release June 2019)
Great content is a result of skilled writing, direction and production. We believe in bringing stories that stay with our viewers for a longer time, says Ridhima Lulla, Chief Content Officer, Eros International.
As Chief Content Officer of Eros Group, how do you see the changing patterns of content consumption in India?
It is a great time for content currently in India. The ecosystem and the way we consume content is evolving. From 3-hour long films to 5-mins short snackable content, the co-existence of all formats is a reflection of the varied demands of the viewers. The platforms and genres have expanded as well as the audience base. More and more people are joining the digital wave to experience entertainment at their convenience. We, at Eros, believe in catering to this ever-changing pulse and by bringing the best of content to as many people as possible.
From the Eros film studio perspective, what are some of the films currently in pipeline? Two Eros International films are part of the official selections in Toronto and Venice…
Our film vertical has been rewarding this year. We released 14 films in the first quarter and the revenues were driven during the quarter with the releases ranging across regional languages like Hindi, Marathi and Bengali. We recently released Telugu film Saakshayam. Eros International has a comprehensive slate of forthcoming releases across genres and languages. Colour Yellow Productions’ Happy Phirr Bhaag Jayegi and Manmarziyaan are two releases that we are looking forward to in this quarter with Manmarziyaan enjoying a world premiere here at TIFF along with a Marathi and Malayalam release.
The next quarter will be exciting as well. Our ambitious project Tumbbad releasing in October, in association will Aanand L Rai, will be the first Indian film ever to open at the Venice Film Festival in the Critics Category.
We have various forms of content for consumption – theatres, TV, web-series, shorts for mobile, documentaries. Eros has been working with writers in recent years. Elaborate?
Great content is a result of skilled writing, direction and production. We believe in bringing stories that stay with our viewers for a longer time. Our content brings a dynamic blend of stories by some of the most celebrated writers as well as upcoming talent in the industry. Our recently announced joint-venture with veteran writer V Vijayendra Prasad is a step forward in collaborating with writers who are known for their stories and characters. Under this JV, we will jointly develop scripts, greenlight projects, produce & distribute films and web-series across Hindi, Telugu and Tamil languages.
Adaptation from best sellers are a current trend. Is Eros working on bringing books to screens?
Mythology, as a genre, is immensely popular in India. We have acquired the rights to adapt Indian author Ashwin Sanghi’s best-selling anthropological thriller ‘The Krishna Key’. We are looking at exploring theatrical as well as web originals with the written material, considering that there is a huge appetite for such content in both the formats. Apart from this, we are always searching for old or new written material, which we think could translate beautifully on screen. We are in the process of announcing some path-breaking acquisitions this year, and you will soon see Eros bringing some of the most popular stories to screen.
How do you see the potential for Indian films in China?
The audience in China is extremely receptive of Indian film content. Even though there are limitations in the number of foreign films being released, lately Indian films have performed exceptionally well. Of course, content is the key when you want to familiarise international audience with Indian films. This is one of the reasons why our film Bajrangi Bhaijaan worked well with the audience in China as the story has a universal connect. Also, we are collaborating with Kabir Khan once again for a travel drama with the working title – The Zookeeper, this would be the first of many films releasing from our portfolio.