IBC Sets the Stage for the New Content Era

“Heisenberg's uncertainty principle. Heisenberg noted that the act of observation will effect the observed; in other words, when you watch something, you change it.” – Charlie Eppes, Numbe3s, Paramount

O.K., the year hasn’t been everything we planned for; but to paraphrase Rick’s farewell to Ilsa, “We’ll always have Amsterdam.”

Yes, the content industry had a second rough year, but folks have been creative in developing tools and technology to help production, post, distribution people deliver entertainment to theaters, homes and individuals.

According to NATO (National Association of Theatre Operators), theater owners put a positive twist on tentpole ticket sales and we heard things like,“See, people are rushing back as fast as they can to be alone together.”

Then, folks stepped back and the theaters/studios had to … adjust.

Studios juggle things the best they can to optimize their investments with varying degrees of global theatrical windows, PVOD, SVOD offerings and creative marketing. And accounting people make them look brilliant.

Theatrical people use gross sales--seats in seats.

Networks, streamers use Nielsen-like numbers to show subscription growth no one really understands.

But streamers also amass more data about what/why people pick a video story, how/where they watch it and lots more to use for … tomorrow.

Through it all, the industry loves to proclaim content is king.

Yes but…

The consumer is still cautious in making the small decisions – where, when, how the family will spend its entertainment dollar.

BUT again!


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Consumers Will Take Center Stage at IBC

“Power just means a world where we're safe to be ourselves. To look like we want. To think like we want. Without having to answer to anybody for it.”  -- Cassius Clay, “One Night in Miami,” Amazon Studios, 2020

For the past nine months, one question has been gnawing at us. 

What is a movie?

NATO (National Association of Theatre Owners) and the 203K+ screen owners around the globe said it was the great content that showed on their digital cinema screens … first.

They bragged how Disney/Marvel Studios’ Black Widow had delivered $158M+ globally for them, proving the theater industry was back.

They screamed when Disney+ reported that subscribers had dropped $60M ($30 each) to watch it at home. 

Folks who saw the project at the theater thought it was a movie. 

Individuals who sat at home with their own popcorn thought it was … a movie.

We look forward to attending a number of IBC sessions in December to better understand how people around the globe choose to watch stuff on Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO Max, Voot, Viu, Tudou, Iqiyi, Joyn+, Cinesquare, Showmax, iROKOtv, or any of the thousands of streaming services.

Allan McLennan, CEP/Media, Head of M&E North America for Atos, who will moderate sessions at IBC said that their international panelists agree that people simply think they’re watching a movie when they want to, on their screen.

Will they also go to a theater to watch a movie?  


Probably … maybe.

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