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MIP Trends of 2019

Written by Flora Kimberley on 10th April 2019

The world’s media industry have migrated to Cannes for the week as MIP started yesterday. Major content and distribution houses come together for a conference dedicated to all genres of television and film. MIP sets the precedent of television production for the year showing distributors what type of shows will be successful in the coming year. From screenings of new content to expert panels, this is what trends we can expect from the MIP conference.

Since the success of Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma, the audience is hungry for more multi-language drama. Deutschland 83, My Brilliant Friend and Narcos proved that non-English language dramas can capture audiences with universal stories and engaging scripts. Therefore, many production houses have started creating scripted content in a multitude of different languages to increase its accessibility for audiences. There are many shows already in the works with this at the forefront, such as Stefano Sollima’s Zero Zero Zero, which is an Italian English drama created by Sky Italia.

Another trend we can expect to see in the coming year is more one-off dramas, anthologies and interactive storytelling. Ever since Black Mirror’s hit one off drama Bandersnatch came out at Christmas, it has caused a stir within the industry. Charlie Brooker (writer and creator of Black Mirror) created a story where the viewer can participate in the narrative of the show which inevitably changes the outcome of the plot. This means you could watch the episode over various times and finish with a different ending depending on your choices throughout. Black Mirror has also convinced content creators that an episodic anthology could be the next step in television content. The episodic structure can help secure A-list talent without strain on their busy schedules. Amazon has enlisted this strategy recently to secure big names such as Dev Patel (Lion) and Anne Hathaway (Modern Love).

It is expected that in the world of reality television and game shows there will be a rise in Asian format innovation. Asia has a great track record of creating appealing formats and content on a global scale. For example Hole in the Wall, Dragons Den, Masked Face and Better Late then Never all originated in Asia (mainly in Japan or Korea). The premises of these shows have been sold on a global scale and have millions of viewers. It is suspected that in the coming year much more Asian inspired television content will appear across all platforms.

Supposedly, factual commissioning for online SVOD services will become more mainstream as the year develops. The blue-chip documentary will broaden across all platforms. This year has already seen a major influx of high-quality documentary programmes from Netflix’s Fyre through to Channel 4’s Leaving Neverland. Factual content has become more popular than ever with audiences selecting thought-provoking real-life stories. This year there will be an incursion of space-themed documentaries due to it being the 50th anniversary of the original Apollo moon landings. Multiple broadcasters such as BBC, ITV, SKY and Channel 4 have already started production of the moon landing documentaries. Facebook has also started to create its own documentary content through its SVOD Facebook Watch. They have recently commissioned a documentary depicting the lives of Mormon teens in Utah.

The final trend expected for 2019 is in children’s television. Tween dramas have become trendy again. Kids television is anticipated to move away from animation and start creating more live action drama series. This is to captivate the older end of the kids' television market and bring back the classic Disney’s golden era. Shows like Hannah Montana, That’s so Raven and The Wizard of Waverly Place hooked tweens from 11-13 for many years with their topically relevant narratives. With the rise of live action becoming a trend, it will be fascinating to see how Disney and Viacom tackle this challenge.

Clearly, this year’s MIP is striding towards many changes within the content world. As the year goes on, it will be great to asses these trends and how they shape television for 2020.

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