In an exclusive interview with Deadline, Lucy Smith, Director of the Entertainment Division at Mipcom Cannes organizer RX France, highlighted the major U.S. studios’ presence at the event and how they are demonstrating that global streaming and third-party licensing can coexist and work together in the industry.
Smith stated that the assumption in recent years that streaming would disrupt traditional distribution has faded. This is good news for the traditionally sales-focused market that Mipcom represents. Companies like Warner Bros Discovery and Paramount Global have made significant investments in Mipcom this year. WBD International President Gerhard Zeiler delivered a keynote speech, and Paramount President and CEO Bob Bakish was honored as Personality of the Year.
All major U.S. studios present at Mipcom will have sizeable stands and sales executives working half-hour slots to shop in-house programs and films. These are projects that may have previously been reserved for their respective global streaming services. This shift in strategy is due to streamers scaling back on original content spends and focusing on co-productions or ordering shows for a single territory and selling international rights to third-party buyers.
Smith commented on this change, stating that the involvement of studios in this process is significant. The market’s new economic dynamics also highlight the growing importance of international co-productions. To support this trend, Mipcom has established the Seaview Producers Hub. This networking space provides co-production executives with a place to hold high-level talks on funding new projects.
AI in the Spotlight
Smith expects discussions around AI to be a major focus at Mipcom. She pointed out the Unlocking AI Summit, which will feature executives from Google Cloud, Largo.ai, and Aive, as well as intellectual property lawyers, European Parliament representatives, producers, artists, and networks.
AI is seen as a disruptive technology that affects everyone in the industry. Smith expressed hope that negotiations surrounding the writers’ strike would establish guidelines to protect creators in the future. However, there is still much to be done in this area. Mipcom aims to provide practical information and guidance to clients on how AI will impact them creatively, in production, and from a regulatory perspective. The goal is to demystify AI and help people better understand how to utilize it in their own businesses.