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El cine europeo en la era del streaming, a debate en Young Horizons


- La dinámica conferencia tuvo como objetivo hacer un retrato del panorama europeo del contenido orientado al público joven, y los desafíos que se encuentra hoy en día

El cine europeo en la era del streaming, a debate en Young Horizons
Un momento de la conferencia

Este artículo está disponible en inglés.

An analysis of recent trends reveals that children’s and family-orientated content is currently enjoying significant success in European cinemas. However, cinema admissions continue to face economic challenges, and consumer preferences are shifting. Notably, US studios still dominate the European charts. During a panel held during the Young Horizons Industry sessions, experts convened to provide insights into these latest findings.

David Kleeman, a strategist and analyst at Dubit, who also moderated the panel, pointed out that streaming adoption has not slowed down post-COVID, surprising some who expected families to return to cinemas and reduce streaming. Peter Ingram, senior analyst at Ampere Analysis, added that the situation varies by market, with Central and Eastern European countries still experiencing streaming growth, while the USA is approaching saturation (see the news). The panel discussed the appetite for children's content in cinemas and the challenges faced by European films. Susan Wendt, managing director at TrustNordisk, emphasised the importance of big franchises in keeping cinemas afloat and highlighted the difficulty of getting European children's content into theatres, particularly live-action titles. Alexandre Dupont-Geisselmann, CEO of Farbfilm Verleih, concurred that blockbuster-type films dominate the market and highlighted the struggles of smaller films to compete.

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Maciej Jakubczyk, department director at Young Horizons Distribution, emphasised the unique case of Poland, where family content had a strong year in 2022 but was dominated by studio releases. He underscored the need to evaluate a film's potential before assessing its box-office performance. The panel also explored the role of streamers in content distribution. Wendt mentioned that streamers are offering longer theatrical windows to distributors, recognising the value of local content. Ingram added that streaming exclusive releases may lead to a short-term influx of subscribers but may still limit long-term revenue opportunities.

The experts delved into the challenges and strategies for marketing and distributing films, especially to the youth audience. Jakubczyk raised the question of why streamers and distributors don't collaborate more closely to cut costs, given their cohabitation in the industry. He expressed disappointment in the slow growth of streamers in Poland and the lack of a new business model. Wendt stressed the distinction between original content and other acquired films on streaming platforms. She mentioned that some acquired films still follow the traditional distribution process, including theatrical releases and transactional windows, rather than opting for immediate streaming exclusivity.

Kleeman shifted the discussion towards the youth audience and their movie-watching habits. He raised the question of whether people go to the cinema for the first viewing and then wait for streaming or television to rewatch films, especially in the context of family and children's content. The conversation also touched on the difficulties faced by smaller and medium-sized films in the market, with Jakubczyk highlighting the importance of evaluating what to do with different types of content.

The experts discussed the challenges of targeting teenage audiences, who can be unpredictable in their movie choices. Wendt mentioned the importance of getting the audience to discover and engage with films, especially for harder-to-reach demographics. They also considered the potential of promotional and extension strategies on gaming platforms, TikTok and YouTube, citing examples where releasing the first episode or prequel content on YouTube has been effective in building interest and connections with the audience.

The experts also delved into the complexities of marketing and distributing European cinema, with Jakubczyk emphasising the different perspectives of producers and distributors when it comes to delivering and promoting content, particularly with limited marketing budgets. Wendt mentioned the challenges of promoting European films on social-media platforms, acknowledging that extensive campaigns like roadblocks or YouTube ads may not always be feasible, owing to budget constraints. She stressed the importance of collaboration and communication across the industry chain to navigate the changing landscape effectively.

The conversation shifted to the challenges of reaching younger audiences, especially those with and without mobile devices. Dupont-Geisselmann highlighted the need to differentiate content for these two segments. The participants discussed the shifting trends in parenthood, where families are increasingly opting for blockbuster-type films over more culturally significant content. Despite the challenges, they expressed hope that the industry would recover from the impact of the pandemic, refocusing on a broader range of content.

The panellists also briefly touched upon the potential opportunities for European cinema in the US market during strikes or delays in American productions. However, they stressed the importance of integrating cinema into educational systems and schools to cultivate an early appreciation for diverse film content among younger audiences. Jakubczyk mentioned his team’s success in integrating film screenings into schools, for children of various age groups. Additionally, he highlighted their success with a series designed for very young children and their efforts to maintain a theatrical window before streaming, emphasising its positive impact.

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(Traducción del inglés)

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