From the very first presentation of the day, when DEGI co-chair (and NBCUniversal SVP, International Digital Account Management) Joe Braman sat down with the Academy Award, BAFTA and Grammy winner Asif Kapadia, to talk about the visionary filmmakers’ creative vision and process for his ground-breaking films SENNA, AMY, and DIEGO MARADONA, the focus of the 2022 DEG Roadshow and BASE Insight Forum was on the most important person in the entertainment landscape: the consumer.
High up on the 10th floor of the NBCUniversal offices in central London, with the spectacular panorama of a sunny London morning behind him, Asif spoke to over 120 industry colleagues at the broadest DEG Roadshow to date, of his passion for telling stories about characters who aren’t universally loved. He spoke to the fundamental importance of the audience experience to him as a filmmaker, and of his job to allow audiences to get closer to these characters than they thought possible. Asif also spoke to the important role that transactional home entertainment plays in the discovery of previously under-represented voices or unseen films and stories, and the array of talent and titles that can only be found in the deep archive and catalogues of the early 2000’s and before.
Joe Braman & Asif Kapadia
Described by audience members as ‘the hottest ticket in town’, the 2022 DEG Roadshow promised a packed agenda of the creative and commercial, bursting with insights and ideas. Following a captivating start, it continued to deliver that and more [across the next six hours]. A presentation from Amy Jo Smith, President and CEO of the DEG, and host of the Roadshow, delivered a powerful overview of US activity and events, the DEG’s current priorities, and the strength of its committees and its alliances. Amy Jo shared an array of insights into the US market, including the in-depth qualitative research recently undertaken by the DEG into the SVOD consumer, their appetites for content and their spending and viewing behaviours.
Amy Jo Smith
The DEG Roadshow is an opportunity for key figures from the US industry to speak to the international Home Entertainment community, and this year delivered an incredible line-up. Jeremy Enos, SVP Worldwide Market Intelligence at Paramount Pictures, and DEG Performance reporting Committee Chair, talked through a wealth of insights into US and international SVOD penetration, as well as the post-covid landscape, and the opportunities for the transactional category.
Andrew Walker, Client Knowledge Director at Kantar Worldpanel kept the audience riveted with insights around the ‘new normal’ versus the ‘old normal’, the expansions of freedom and the contractions of consumer budgets.
Janice Pearson, Senior SVP, Sales and Strategy at XL8, and Chair of the DEG Advanced Content Delivery Alliance- Supply Chain Efficiency and Security Committee Chair, was another key member of the US DEG delegation who had flown over to share her insights with the international community. Janice spoke to the Speed to Market Paradox, of an increased piracy landscape, and the steps the industry can take to prevent new forms of infringement linked to changes in the supply chain workflows.
Chris Carey, EVP Marketing and Corporate Development, Iyuno-SDI Group, and Chair of the DEG Advanced Content Delivery Alliance Localization Committee, talked the audience through the global changes and challenges in the localization process, and the need to bring localization experts to the creative table earlier in the production process, to ensure the best possible international versions of content.
At the end of the morning, and just before an incredibly well-received networking lunch, Charlotte Lund Thompson, Legal Counsel at the International Video Federation, and Stan McCoy, President & Managing Director, of the MPA EMEA, provided a highly engaging discussion on regulation and infringement, touching on the financial impact of Covid in 2021 on the industry, as well as the three legs of an effective anti-piracy stool, and the need to innovate when tackling infringement to match and counteract the innovation shown by organized infringement operations. Charlotte and Stan continued to draw our attention to the prevailing commercial freedoms which should not be taken for granted.
Stan McCoy & Charlotte Lund Thompson
Mazin Al-Jumali at Zoo Digital represented our lead sponsor for the day. Zoo Digital is both a DEG Member and the newest Associate DEGI Member, and Mazin followed on from Janice and Chris by speaking to the global localisation ‘crunch’, including a fascinating potted history of the localization process.
Sharon Reid, Director of Marketing and Communications at Cinema First, followed with an up-to-date picture of return to cinema behaviours, emphasizing the need for collaboration across the screen landscape, for the good of us all.
That spirit of collaboration that makes our category so successful and special was directly referenced by the retail panel that followed, as the Official Chart Company’s Commercial Director Becca Monahan led a conversation between three major retail entertainment partners: Phil Halliday, Managing Director at HMV Retail Ltd, Blaise Keen, Head of Marketing, TVOD and EST at Rakuten TV, and Frank Straetmans, CEO of Frontline Group. All three retailer partners spoke to the opportunities for entertainment through retail and respecting the knowledge of consumers to understand what they want and when and how they want it. The significance of retail partners and platforms to our category cannot be over-stated. The audience relationship with entertainment starts with these trusted partners, to deliver them the stories they love and the content they crave.
Frank Straetmans, Blaise Keen, Phil Halliday & Becca Monahan
Within BASE and the DEGI, we have also witnessed that spirit of collaboration working brilliantly over the recent days and weeks as members of both teams have visited and supported colleagues in Italy, with Univideo, in Hamburg with BVV, and (albeit virtually) with AHEDA, and our colleagues in Sydney. It was also present in the audience throughout the day as colleagues from the DEG Nordic board flew over to be with us as well.
Vincenzo Mastrofillippo, Ilaria Movio, Davide Bennato, Pierlugi Bernasconi, Liz Bales & Federico Bagnoli Rossi at the Univideo event in Italy, earlier this month
Doug Whelpdale, Head of Insight at BARB finished an incredible day with a fascinating study of the 360-degree Audience View, speaking to the consistent content pleasers that continue to drive SVOD engagement, and the behaviours around binging and episodic viewing.
The DEG Roadshow 2022 was a huge success. This Collaboratory event continues to demonstrate that BASE, the DEG and the DEGI exist to champion growth and the technological advancement which drives it for the international entertainment industry. And while the speed at which the category is evolving can be dazzling, but it is also incredibly exciting, something we hope that the students attending the day from the National Film and Television School felt in the room. We need the brightest talent to continue to charge this industry with life.
Our guests from the National Film and Television School (Ahmed Bakhsh, Juliana Lynch, Megan Sutcliffe, Kinga Meissner & Julia Trawinska)
Liz Bales, CEO of BASE and the DEGI ended the day as we began, referencing the amazing Amy Winehouse, who was credited to have said, ‘I’d like to be thought of as someone who was a pioneer.’ We hope that events like the DEG Roadshow continue to inspire the pioneer within us all, to keep developing and exploring our roles in this amazing industry and play our part in helping audiences discover the stories that they love.
Companies In Attendance Were:
- BARB – Broadcasters Audience Research Board
- British Association for Screen Entertainment
- BBC Studios
- Cinema First
- DEG – The Digital Entertainment Group
- Elevation Sales
- ERA – The Digital Entertainment & Retail Association
- Frontline Group
- Futuresource Consulting
- International Video Federation
- Kantar Worldpanel
- Looper Insights
- Motion Picture Association
- National Film & Television School: NFTS
- Obviously Creative: OC
- Official Charts Company
- Paramount Pictures
- Rakuten TV
- SF Studios
- Sky Store
- Sony Pictures Entertainment
- Spirit Entertainment
- The Walt Disney Company
- Warner Bros. Discovery
- Whip Media
- Zoo Digital