Carolyn McCall, chief executive of ITV, during a keynote presentation at MIPCOM 2018. Image via MIPCOM

Carolyn McCall, chief executive of ITV, during a keynote presentation at MIPCOM 2018. Image via MIPCOM

Whether APEX members are buying, selling or spotting trends, next week’s MIPCOM international content market is must-see TV for all involved.

With more than 2,000 exhibitors, 4,500-plus TV and digital content buyers and a host of eclectic content offerings from 110 countries, the Marché International des Programmes de Communication, aka MIPCOM, is one of the largest content markets in the world. Though the show is not a traditional non-theatrical market, the rise of digital media in the era of platform-agnostic content makes MIPCOM an excellent place for APEX members to spot trends — especially for anyone looking for the next big thing on the in-flight entertainment (IFE) front.

“MIPCOM is exciting for us as it’s the biggest global entertainment market out there,” says Emma Gunn, Spafax’s director, Acquisitions & Content Partnerships. “It gives us an opportunity to connect with new content creators and acquire the best programmes. It also sheds light on the latest digital and TV trends, which inevitably have an effect on how we license TV content to airlines. MIPCOM always leaves me inspired!”

Held October 14-17 in thePalais des Festivals in Cannes, this year’s MIPCOM looks to shine a bright light on diverse content offerings from underrepresented groups with its third annual Diversity and Inclusion Program.

Highlights include Media Mastermind Keynote sessions with speakers like Melrose Place and Sex and the City creator Darren Starr and Emmy-winner RuPaul Charles — who is also being honored with the Variety Vanguard Award, which recognizes industry leaders who have made significant contributions to the global business of entertainment.

“[MIPCOM] sheds light on the latest digital and TV trends, which inevitably have an effect on how we license TV content to airlines” – Emma Gunn, Spafax

Also playing host to dozens of TV world premieres and market screenings — including the first ever large-scale 8K resolution screening of Kazuo Ishiguro’s An Artist of the Floating World starring Oscar nominee Ken Watanabe — MIPCOM’s conference theme for 2019 is The Streaming Offensive.

Focusing on how upcoming streaming video on demand (SVOD) and ad-supported video on demand (AVOD) streaming platforms from players large and small are looking to shake up the global distribution model in the year ahead, the sessions are sure to be the very definition of binge-worthy. Especially for anyone looking to get a leg up on the competition when terrestrial streaming trends take wing in flight.

“MIPCOM is an important market for me not just from a content sales perspective but also from a BBC Studios Channels perspective because a number of affiliates attend like cable operators and satellite platforms,” says Zina Neophytou, vice-president, Out of Home, BBC Studios. “We have an exciting MIPCOM lined up, not only are we unveiling our stunning, brand new stand at 18 Croisette, but we also have a great slate.”

Aside from the return of BBC’s hugely-popular Top Gear series, Neophytou says she’s excited to celebrate the launch of Seven Worlds, One Planet — which will be part of this year’s 4K Ultra-HD program — and three new dramas: LIFE, Traces, and the much buzzed-about adaptation of Jane Austen’s final, unfinished novel, Sanditon, from BAFTA winner Andrew Davies.

“On top of all that,” adds Neophytou, “look out for an informative session entitled Funding Creativity: In Conversation with BBC Studios with our president of Global Distribution, Paul Dempsey, and director of Content, Ralph Lee.”