Everything is still OK?
BY Georgi R. Chakarov
Time does move fast. Just six years ago, everyone was talking about “The Golden Age of TV.” Then, three years ago, everyone started talking about “The Streaming Wars” and now this cycle is also drawing to an end, as “The FAST Revolution” is taking over, further undermining the classic “production-broadcasting-distribution” model. This phase in the development of the entertainment industry could last even shorter because the speed of transformation of people/consumers, their environment and technology is constantly accelerating.
If in the past analysts were able to make long-term forecasts, now even a two-year plan looks like a “blow in the wind”. We have the pandemic, we have a war in Europe, we have rising inflation, living costs, energy crisis, much more political and economic uncertainty than ever, and a nuclear threat on top of that. In this, as I like to call it, revolutionary situation, there are usually two common solutions people and companies opt for: duck down, make no decisions, no risky moves and wait for “the storm to pass”; or go head-on “against the storm”. In both cases, the decision-making process is driven by the lack of clear understanding of “what the storm is”. This continues from one crisis to another, with no change in the behavioral patterns. Thus, the crises start piling up and things begin to move so fast that it gets incredibly hard to handle the numerous life and business challenges. Every action is just a reaction, without reason: doing something for the sake of doing something, for the sake of reassuring oneself that “everything is still okay”.
This is what TV professionals will do once again in Cannes. Create this “common sense” for themselves that “everything is still okay”. But is it? Looking at the factors mentioned above and the recent troubles of giants like Netflix, Disney, Warner Bros. Discovery, things do not look so rosy in the biggest media and entertainment market in the world. Take the recent developments in the UK and the leading European markets and the picture starts turning grey for everyone dealing with TV business.
We begin to see that the mega-mergers are clearly not a solution, and failed mergers do even greater harm. Advertising is something like a “last straw”, but even people in that industry would tell you they are looking for a straw as well. So, the main topic this MIPCOM should be “What to do in the face of collapse?”