Canadian producers lay claim in online video gold rush
OTTAWA, March 2, 2015—2014 was a turning point for Canada’s digital-first media landscape, according to a new report released today by the Canadian Media Production Association (CMPA). The report, Content Everywhere (2): Securing Canada’s Place in the Digital Future, examines the emerging marketplace for English-language linear content created outside the traditional studio and broadcast system over the past four years. It also provides case studies to give producers a real-life instruction kit on how to benefit from digital markets.
The report received funding support from the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC), the Canada Media Fund (CMF) and the Independent Production Fund (IPF). Content Everywhere is an update to a sister white-paper commissioned in 2011 which suggested Canada, at that time, was lagging behind the U.S. and U.K in terms of original content production for new digital platforms.
“The jury may be out on what broadcast models will survive or prevail but there are clear lessons here for producers. First, there are rapidly growing markets for libraries of content and increasingly for original content, both large and small budget and perhaps, most important, strong signals that audience matters as never before,” says Michael Hennessy, President and CEO of the CMPA. “As underscored in the report, in a world where choice is infinite and the viewer controls consumption, the producer must demonstrate that there is an audience for what they are pitching. At the CMPA we are working through advocacy, market research and professional development to provide producers with the opportunities and tools to exploit these emerging markets.”
“Ensuring Canadian programs are available and visible in the vast depth of content offerings will be key to Canada’s success,” says Valerie Creighton, President and CEO of the CMF. “As we have seen, the marketplace for digital-first content is transforming and each day, new players as well as traditional media companies are making announcements about their new initiatives to get into the game. Whether its new SVOD services, OTT channel offerings, or digital series launched on YouTube or VIMEO, Canada’s producers have a growing role to play in this burgeoning market for digital-first content.”
“OMDC was pleased to have supported Content Everywhere 1 and 2. It is timely and innovative research that provides important context on Canada’s contribution to the global digital marketplace and explores emerging trends in the continually shifting media landscape. The study examined a number of successful Ontario-based digital first properties including Annedroids, Out With Dad and Bite on Mondo which will help producers build audience for their properties and engage the right talent and partners to increase their digital footprint,” says Karen Thorne-Stone, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC).
“Canadian content producers need all the tools possible to grow their businesses to meet the current boom in digital-first linear content,” says Andra Sheffer, Executive Director IPF. “The IPF has been a significant funder and supporter of web-based and mobile drama in Canada over the past five years. Content Everywhere offers important insights to help content creators find their way in this highly volatile environment.”
Content Everywhere provides a comprehensive overview of the eight common characteristics of successful digital-first content from Canada, the U.K. and the U.S. markets, based on interviews and data collected from more than 30 industry buyers and creators. The project was led by Catherine Tait of Duopoly Inc.—an independent entertainment company that has provided business development services to the media industries in Canada and the U.S. over the past ten years.
Ms. Tait will be presenting her study and moderating a panel on Friday, March 6th at the CMPA’s annual conference, Prime Time. She will further discuss new opportunities for traditional producers and broadcasters in online production from SVODs to MCNs with J.J. Johnson (Executive Producer, Sinking Ship Entertainment), Mike Cosentino (Senior Vice President, Programming CTV Networks, CraveTV, Bell Media), John MacDonald (VP Television, Head of Women’s and Family Networks, Corus Entertainment), Navaid Mansuri (VP Content Partnerships, Rogers Media), and Marni Shulman (Senior Director, Content and Programming, Shomi).
A copy of the report is available here and it can also be found on the website of partners associated with the research. The French version of the report will be available soon.