The Search For Content Intensifies

A newly invigorated TV industry with tradeshows and events in full swing once again, the search for new content is growing. In a new installment of its eReport, ttvnews presents an overview of the main trends in the search for international content by buyers and Acquisition executives.

The first half of 2022 has come and gone, and the TV industry continues to get back to normal with the return of in-person events, tradeshows and festivals, where the search for new content is now at an all time high.

And all this in an entertainment industry that has changed drastically, where streaming platforms have flourished and consumption habits have been shaped by the new reality.

In this context, the acquisition strategies of content buyers have had to be adapted to this new scenario, with changes in terms of genres, types of productions and trends.

To get a clearer idea of the content trends for this year, ttvnews presents the third installment of its report What are buyers looking for in the international market?, which presents the main content searches by buyers from various regions, countries and windows (broadcast TV, pay TV, OTT).

From entertainment formats, premium series and melodramas, to documentaries and TV movies, all with a focus on compelling stories that can travel internationally; up next we present the main trends in international buyers’ search for content.

Lasse Nikkari, Director of Formats and Entertainment at Sanoma Media Finland

For Lasse Nikkari, Director of Formats and Entertainment at Sanoma Media Finland; the search for international content is focused on the scripted and non-scripted segment.

“We commission scripted and unscripted titles, primarily entertainment titles that have as much edge as possible. Fewer documentary series, fewer factual entertainment formats,” he said.

Likewise, the content that the Finnish company recruits must offer variants to exploit the digital ecosystem. “We are in the middle of a digital transformation, so everything that we commission needs to work both on free to air and non-linear platforms of our own”, he said.

“Scripted shows are known to be great non-linear platform drivers, so we are going to increase the number of those. When it comes to non-scripted commissions, we are likely to commission more of the shows that we know work as a total TV production, meaning they work well on non-linear platforms and free to air.”

Anke Stoll, VP of Acquisitions and Co-Productions at Keshet International

For Anke Stoll, VP of Acquisitions and Co-Productions of Keshet International of Israel; content scouting is based on a multi-genre interest.

“We are buying all types, scripted, factual and formats. We are open to anything,” said the executive. “On the scripted side we buy both foreign and English-language series. It can be drama, thriller, mystery, even sci-fi. We buy as well comedies and dramedies, so we are open to many genres.”

“In terms of factual, we focus on factual entertainment, long-running series and high-profile documentaries,” she added.

Raquel Rocha, director of Unicable

Raquel Rocha, director of Mexico’s Unicable, explained that the search for content in the international market focuses on various genres, but especially on fiction content.

“Our audience has always been very balanced. 60% women 40% men, 35 and up, depending on the day and mostly the time, because we have already identified at what time our audiences of 30, 40 or 50 watch us. It is very balanced and that is why our lineup has everything”, she said.

In this sense, in addition to the block of original productions, Unicable has a timeslot devoted to superseries, coming from distributors such as Caracol from Colombia or Telemundo from the US, among others.

“What we do is curate content that has been very successful internationally. We bring it, we analyze which ones can work and those are the ones we offer to the client. What we spend the most time on is seeing what we are going to bring to our audience,” she explained.

Andrés Mendoza, Director of Acquisitions and Business, WarnerMedia

Meanwhile, Andrés Mendoza, Director of Acquisitions and Business, WarnerMedia Latin America; shares that the search for content for the HBO Max streaming platform is focused on titles that complement the broad offer that the company’s own catalog has, coming from HBO and Warner Bros.

“A large part of the HBO MAX streaming platform’s portfolio of titles draws on the content of our HBO and Warner Bros. studios, so what we are looking for is to buy material that complements, expands and diversifies what we already have”, he said.

“The HBO MAX strategy is to reach the whole family with its titles. That makes us have to expand the range of genres, movies, comedy series, drama, true crime, and content for all demographics. It is ambitious and difficult, because the motto would be “I want it all!”, but it’s all about keeping the whole family entertained.”

In this sense, the executive focuses the search for third-party content on innovative ideas. “As for local content, it might be series, telenovelas or movies, which also feature relevant actresses and actors who provide freshness and relevance to the content. Euphoria, one of our own contents, is a faithful example of this talent and innovation equation.”

Telenovelas are another genre demanded by WarnerMedia Latin America.

“Although they have always been a highly demanded genre in Latin America, but the boom they have had in recent times demonstrates their validity. We have been able to verify this in titles that we have acquired from major referents such as Telemundo, RCN in Colombia, Mega in Chile, and Turkish telenovelas, but we also know that they have worked for our competitors.”