THIS IS PART 7 IN A SERIES OF 7 ON KEY INDUSTRY TOPICS TRENDING FROM THE 2016 FILM FINANCE FORUM EAST HELD IN NYC IN APRIL 2016
The remaining panels of the forum were equally engaging and interesting; however, they started to delve into issues often seen at the higher level of studio management and financing, or repeated much of the earlier in-depth conversation. As such, we’ll do a shorter, bullet point overview of the highlights.
• More crossover in content is causing merger and acquisition (M&A) activity to pick up. Film, TV, Digital, High Brow, Low Brow – none are mutually exclusive anymore.
• The bringing of the different aspects of production (producing, distribution, sales, etc.) under one roof is also causing a big increase in M&A
• Digital content value is being based off of revenue (not profits) and this is making high-level investors a little uncomfortable, especially banks.
• China. It’s a hot topic in all things film. Money is going there as much as it is coming here. China is expected to pass the U.S. in box-office receipts in 2017. Growth there is exponential vs. the U.S.’s slow growth.
• Getting your invested dollars back out of China is still an issue.
• Watch out for India. They’re likely up next.
• Netflix and Amazon are changing the documentary market. It’s gaining steam.
• Virtual Reality is the next big thing. No one’s sure yet though how this affects the film industry, the gaming industry yes, but with film there is less clarity on the benefit.
• TV is drawing in big names like never before. It’s no longer a second tier creative outlet.
• Books, historically reserved to be turned into movies, are being turned into TV series at an increasing pace (think Bosch on Amazon).
• Know who and what you’re selling. Film is about plot. TV is about characters.
• Brand money is increasing digital budgets
• By 2020 the money invested in digital projects is expected to catch up to TV – however that money is being spread over a much, much larger base
• While money is increasing for digital projects, so are the costs. Especially with cast.
• Timeliness and Timelessness always sell. Always.
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