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Read this: Media Business Podcast #7: Edinburgh TV Festival 2019

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Media Business Podcast #7: Edinburgh TV …



welcome to media business podcast by Media business insight for publisher of broadcast and screen international chief executive officer Business Insider today I'm sitting in the heart of Edinburgh for every August since 1976 TV festival have been bringing more than 2000 movers and shakers for the Global television industry Scottish capital for 3 days of navel-gazing hobnobbing and Kitchen TV ideas ideas channel controller with a cash to splash and the power to make it happen in This podcast will be featuring the highlights of some of the key TV festival interviews with controllers and commissioners the Next Three Days big players of the UK market and also hearing from one of the streaming Giants Amazon about it's plans the UKTV commissioning and a big-budget Productions

So let's hear from the commissioners themselves starting with cassian, Harrison control of BBC Four and Patrick Holland controller of BBC2 interviewed in the session by Jackie long social affairs editor at Channel 4 The successes and failures there I call them that so we were starting from scratch with the Fallout 4 race across the world because we wanted ideas of real scale.

We did the producers to come to us and say maybe there isn't something which is going to cost this amount of money and B field across this amount of days and and take a factual entertainment show crossed literally across the world in the and we gave it a real Focus and I think that like giving it that Focus and same to produce this ok the ideas need to be in by this point and then we can put development money with the ones that we really.

Castle Point in terms of when we were going to the commission that so the ideas were really exciting and really and did challenges and hopefully we did come good on that and as I say it had really impact for us race across the world we commissioned at not one but two more series and so I was I could not be more delighted by it's also in terms of its own in a sense of purpose.

There's lots of talk at the moment but national entertainment and you know constructs and should we be putting people through a particularly stressful situations race across the world is a skilled talent show which is very stressful, but it's also hugely filled with purpose changes to last year this year is about features and I'm just how did the people in this audience even begin to pitch to a channel which in your words.

You know you want to be contemporary and bold and diverse and get the average age of the audience.

Navigate that in terms of coming to you with ideas for feature today.

So if you look at the channel this year and you look at your home made perfect which is an 8:00 show which uses VR technology as a way of looking into home transformation shows I think it's the best time transformation show for a long time on telly.

It's got a completely young vibe to it Angela Scanlon is fantastic as centre of it and yet at the same time it appeals to all audiences.

So I think they would do I point earlier but produces wanting to see content on the channel.

I think I could make you know but I get that tone that town is inside the factory.

You know lots and lots of people try and make imitations of inside the factory for other channels and they fail because inside the factory has got that unique tone and that unique sense of mystery purpose that makes it BBC2 and again young audiences older audiences.

Come to it.

So there's broadcasting brings people together it.

People together and if you're looking at an 8:00 show and wondering what the tonality is then those two pieces are a very good place to start also remarkable places to eat with Fred cyriax that there are there you can bring in audiences young and old if you have that spirit and if you have that mischievous tone, but also that BBC2 Grande at the BBC is losing losing young audiences in in areas of the of the schedule, but as I said earlier BBC2 if you take it from July to July so forget about Winter Olympics which slightly skewed the numbers the year before that was in the Ofcom report in the annual report then we've grown an Audience with grown on audience on BBC2 because of all of the pieces that you're not worried.

I'm worried.

I'm worried in the sense that not I'm not worried in the sense that I think that we don't have the answers has broadcast television got an issue with young audiences.

Of course it has but one.

BBC Two particularly, it's always been a channel directed or greeted by if you like older people older posher people to ABCs but the whole of broadcast television is has got older posher people watching television the BBC 2 has not always been something which is only folk singer older people that as I've been saved for last 4 years BBC 2 has got that unorthodox DNA that's why I came from in the 1950 years ago, but if you look at the BBC Two that I grew up with in the 80s and 90s then it was filled with bases like The Fast Show pieces like our friends in the North I think that with PCs like is Ahmed englistan, and we like Frankie Boyle's new world order that we have got that spirit that turn back just a couple of years ago topflight critics in the Guardian was still writing articles under the headline.

Is the point of BBC 4 this year broadcast digital channel of the year do you think people now know what the point of BBC4 is home? I would hope so I mean I think the Longford even 2 years ago for people to be asking that question I think that BBC4 is always had a very clearly Mr bout.

What is what it's for and what it's about it.

It's about you know it's a very distinct something very special something.

I'm very proud of which is units of a channel which is about diving deeper than any other British television channel does channel that culture is a channel about artist channel about me.

It's a channel with a global perspective about your upcoming a I know and they made by machine documentary BBC experimentation.

Yes absolutely again.

I think that's something on tremendously proud of you Tuesday we have the flexibility and the space to be able to do things and to look at forms of programming the BBC one and two.

Because we should also be and that I feel that the channel should be a testbed for other ways and new ways of making television.

I mean the AI night was interesting.

I think it was reassuring into far as I don't think any of us are under threat from being replaced by artificially intelligent changes in the near future as ways of exploring.

What are the boundaries of what it looks like? I might shake and I think you know we've been doing as you know very kind of interesting.

You don't collect it again in the drama perspective pieces of brilliant peaceful nature make me up by a young artist called Rachel Maclean which is an extraordinary kind of fever dream of a kind of Handmaid's Tale feminism that looks completely unlike anything else that you would see on contemporary British television Barclays is a global bank.

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That's why Facebook helps you control you was at facebook.com slash the media business podcast direct from the Edinburgh TV festival and I'm joined by Alex who is the managing editor of the commissioning index, so Alex it's very busy here lots of stuff happening sessions.

What are you? What are you saying? What are some of the key themes?

Controllers are attending and most of them.

I speaking a lot of commissioner sessions including some of the newbies serious or Access from Amazon some of the key trends.

See you lot about news the Battle of fake news factual documentary making broadcast magazine Chris Curtis to the session on the making a mega dog which was fascinating and well-attended.

I think it's a current fake news Debate and the data about the media that completing the current the current trends and it's not just you and Edinburgh that's also what the commissioners are asking for rossio commissioning teams especially factual growing and play the great big role in the growth of factual programming and

Making but that's not it's obviously everybody is looking for the new love Island ratings war is on in That's Entertainment space and also there's a lot more drama and demand for drama channel 5 now enter the drama room so be interesting to see what comes after that you've got how many commissioners in the commissioning and tectonics 426 commissioners and we have a database of over 15000 Productions UK and us how much do you think is missing from the analysis of the controller is mostly the positive and the negative make sure that they attend all the sessions and make sure that they get new intricacies out of commission controllers are looking for but overall we are in daily conversations with the broth.

Listen have all the updates that are required so I wouldn't say they're big shocking reveals for us here and Edinburgh Channel 5 and turned around performance and perceptions under control of Ben trial is now increasingly popular with viewers critics and producers who like fries no-nonsense style and commitment to respond quickly pitch ideas and post ratings depression well, there is no sweets, but the real group of young people yesterday.

It's so bad that you got nothing to lose and you can read the whole thing up without Without Fear of failure.

The organising business when you've had a really successful run at Peaches and then you're starting to get the autumn and the money is a bit tighter and the competition a bit tougher and you go ok.

This is where we have to do.

Even before you sleep well in my bed last night.

I don't think so much.

It's a really good.

That's really good at it if you stop drinking at 9.

I like a good bottle of water before you go to bed really well, if you keep drinking until when you go to bed, you don't sleep well, and I think you know when you're working really hard when you go home and you're always thinking it's not I set myself a challenge coming up on the train from London to Edinburgh so you know you're reading the papers.

You're watching succession you're looking at the posters in the train station.

Is that an idea is that ok? Ben you've got an hour's think of 10 royal documents that you can do now and then when you get home at night.

You can occur to come down really quickly and set.

I sense a real changing audience of late, am I right is the audience changing in who they are much less people with change the way it was sold our demos and when much more interested in upmarket people and mature audience.

I think there is a place for young people on digital channels, but it's very young person nowadays is really god damn hard and I kind of in a way.

I've never really worried about the demo so much because I've always believe that especially in this new World Order weather so many challenges so many options of people at the end of the day it just comes to content.

I'm not sure really know what channel.

Is there watching what they know is content but there was a great series that they talked about about about or that it found that then share but definitely.

Market definitely it is I think I'll probably as much more intelligent.

I think you're a bit of faces.

We have on a channel now.

You know the pattern and Esther Rantzen le Portillo pale into this world.

I'm not saying there's work to be done it said it's alarming how fo.you women there are out there that can really bring to a child make a statement that are really interesting Discovery the last few months so there's work to be done and all that kind of stuff but definitely audience is more up-market and I'm kind of happy and that's so no you're not chasing you you're not chasing anything to do is it a good idea people will come how can we make it in a way that will make people find it like it.

Enjoy it be rewarded by it and then you do it.

I do think we have huge.

BBC audience and they want me to go to the boundary fishing and chucking stuff out there to try to attract young people across the money.

I don't have that kind of my children million years ago.

You said you got anything about Harry and spend that money and you can be pretty sure you're going to get a return on investment and you're going to be pretty sure that probably going to work.

There's only a limited ring for failure when you have a limited money and you have all those socks for Phil and you're competing so you're kind of you can take the odds with Kieran then it can be a bit of a funny one and two people like pus is it your or you know yoghurt hot body whenever you can have this funny, but really you've got a put most of the money is pretty much going to deliver for you in some form or another whether it's rating.

Revenue or reputation the One theme running through every controller session is increasing competition for the best ideas and Talent even the BBC can't rest on its laurels now competing with the likes on Netflix and Amazon so what are Amazon's plans for the UK when it comes to commissioning and how will local commissioning fit into the platforms global ambitions Georgia Brown Amazon European Originals was in the controllers chair interviewed by Ayesha hazarika, so that everything and then when we went global in 2016 really we had a different conversation with the audience at that point and it was very clear that they wanted were local Originals in local language.

They are you at Originals they travel incredibly well around the globe but they really wanted to see something as a bit more into their life and something that resonated well with them.

So they bought me on board to set up a stew.

There's a couple of days if that's a phase one is obviously physically setting it up and that's an awful.

Lot of work, so we've been busy recruiting as lots of you know I'm getting the infrastructure of the team right and that's not just the creative team to talk about them in a bit, but that's everything from production post production finance business affairs legal because if we truly going to be local we can't just the operating creatively locally we have to make sure he is local the walls local regulation regulation.

That's really important to us so that kind of phase 1 of setting up the team is very much emotion and we're nearly there.

I'm pleased to say and then I love that is working out what our customers actually want.

What do the audience want and therefore? What do we want? You guys to start pitching ace which I know is forever the challenge and it's been a really fantastic journey trying to figure out when she started summed it up really well, which was we're going to be the studio that created want to call home.

We're going to be the place.

They want to come back to and really what that means.

We have to be folk.

Two people in the world firstly, it's our audience and we have to be completely obsessed with them what they want to watch.

What are they getting on television? What voices do they need to see and then it's also the Producers you know what stories to tell the years and years, but they just hasn't quite been the right home or the right slot all the money to backup that idea and she very much is leading US studio creatively everything we do starts with the backwards from that so people are often shops know we spoke about this when they come into the studio and picture ideas and we never the people that will say can you make it for this amount of money and delivering to 419 that's just not operate a Show takes as long as the Show takes to develop that will come onto again.

I'll different model and how are unique but we don't have the idea of slots have to work too so we can be quite fluid in the creative process which allows ideas to really comes to life in a way that maybe they wouldn't under different pressures and in terms of your I suppose your competitors.

And like how would you say you differentiate from them? What's different about what you're offering? I think are set up on a model is incredibly different for a start you know it's not just an escort service and if you're looking at video alone.

It's so much more than that we have tea board.

We have channels.

We have prime video direct.

What is a business we offer so much more as I said earlier creative canal come to us.

We just a topic or genre an idea that they're not quite sure what it is.

Yeah.

We can sit there and have that discussion is this TV is it a movie actually is it a clothing line? Is it that you have to go through a soundtrack? There's so many different ways you can work within the Amazon business.

That's not just this kind of Xbox streaming rude.

I think that offers just a variety of Richards for creative coming to work with us.

So you're not a single model is a very bespoke sort of deal in terms absolutely different needs absolutely that comes back too kind of our mission.

I suppose which genus out which is win.

The service that's going to come to the market with hundreds of new commissions every month we're going to be so bespoke and we're going to be so focused in offering we're not doing the volume gain with very much about if you were bigger and again that allows us to give ideas a room to breathe and to develop into what they need to be without having to force them into certain slots or genres or timelines for a business you talk to these guys all the time.

What's the big difference between when they're looking for a commission in the US vs.

The UK how they operate and how they go about it a big difference between volume and the amount of projects that are in the market bhosle man buys in the market.

So it means that she quite a lot of places for you to go with different ideas and if it doesn't fit one there's always kind of

Where to go in the UK could have like a smaller Paula broadcasters to take your idea to but I guess the main difference could be there's an agent system which can often be restricted for all beneficial because the agent could really break down for your lot of things that you don't understand.

I need an agent can be useful.

They can be used for translating the language and I'm kind of the nuances between what happens over there and kind of the UK system, but sometimes you can get in without an agent and can just kind of case by case with quite like it at the moment because the USA Connery calling out for UK producers in both factual and Drama I think there's a kind of way of looking at the UK specialist in factual and in drama, and so you have a lot of us networks kind of queuing up on who were the big producers in the UK who's bringing out noteworthy.

No worry things so it is a good time really so kind of take your idea up to you ask would definitely on the radar from the sessions and it is Netflix why do they probably don't need to be there in boxes a full enough as it is the channel for is still a relatively new boy in the world of tea, and it needs job is background as news but he's now running across your channel where he needs to deliver creative and commercially successful shows and dramas and factual and has Channel 4 move to create a new Nash HQ in Leeds what would that mean for those pitching ideas broadcaster Anita and that asks the questions to create pubs in Glasgow in Bristol this is the biggest changing Channel 4 history of your life is filled with excitement and red beer at the moment.

I think we've done a lot of the parts of this which has been working out which roles we got to move and now we spent the last few months hiring into the roles in the people.

We've been attracting so we've got a Glasgow have treaties one of the most respected commissioners around in the daytime and head of Glasgow got such a fantastic passionate passionate advocate for Bristol he's going to be our head of Bristol fabulous squamous Lloyd S4C drama commission is responsible for it's like keeping Faith appointments in Leeds

We've already got an extraordinary calibre of people coming in and we've got rolls with we'll wait and decision-making influence the challenge over the next six months is going to be actually figure out as a work integrated commissioning teams that are spread over 4 locations.

How had meetings actually look how we see each other with this.

I'm not moving too long.

No, I think it's a fair.

I think it's a fair challenge.

I think that I mean the reality is the larger Army commissioning team is still going to be in London I'm going to have to be across all our bases some of the time.

I'm going to be travelling every week both Alex and I will be travelling every week Kelly Webb lamb my dad.

She will be the most weeks so I think you'll be plenty of coverage at our level book.

We've got a lot of people's heads of departments.

We got the wonderful Sinead rocks dynamic and inspiring figure we're going to have a very silly figure running out operation the true to say that most channel stuff would rather take redundancy than move.

What does that tell you?

I'm not sure what it tells anyone that would be if I just took that my world and she's a commission bid one of the problems that we've got is that commissioning editors jobs senior job stop people getting quite late in their careers by which time they generally got family often got kids and they're quite in bed.

It's much harder for them to move if we had a wider population of twenty-somethings you were single and we have lots more movers that we have got some people moving and by the way as I've said before if you had 50 or 60% of people going to be asking me why we are hiring more local talent.

This is not for me.

It's just from Leeds Live website to hear what you think.

They are saying in a huge win for the city.

We prove ourselves on developing a text Abbie

That would be a perfect laws on home for major broadcast so you can understand why the news that most Channel 4 staff were chasing redundancy instead of relocating.

You're such a Kick in the teeth.

I just haven't encountered that you asked.

What is a lot and I just as I talk to the Leeds Indies at talk to Civic people in in in Leeds have been involved in the Beard that is just what we are hearing is universal Enthusiasm about what the rabbit channel 4 is going to do for the city for the area excitement about the fact that in these are open past has moved up there.

I just I just don't think that I can only imagine because I've never had such a lofty position and never will let me think I can imagine.

It's a little bit like herding cats vs.

Leeds

How are you going to be thinking of what you might be doing going to have to be at the moment from organisations that do operate across split locations fortunately my boss Alex has run a business across multiple locations and is about this, but we we are investing in an surprising to see you at the same things that I used to be in in my old life at the BBC way.

You would frequently have Manchester Cardiff on teleconference to the same meetings.

We gonna have to get used to do that.

We already have a drama based in Leeds tell me I'm just trying to work out what the right rhythm of actual physical connection is because we can't all be technology.

We are all going to have to get together.

Time so we're working out.

It's going to be in London summer time in Leeds some of the time but we learning because I was moving down to my nose and please can you give us a definite opening day for Leeds

should never be answered this it's it's

October right now that we've got a kind of temporary space and office right now and imminently we going to move into another office in Leeds for a year while we play revamp the Majestic old nightclub in Leeds which is going to be a permanent base but not for a year's time.

We will be we are up and running right now.

We will have a number of commissioners in the autumn BBC one of the BBC's flagship channel and the UK's most watched channel 4, what is its control of Charlotte Moore planning and what areas of the schedule are up for grabs with increasing the iPlayer and Sutor lost britbox? What does the growth of on-demand mean?

Commissioning and scheduling strategy used cars to Tom bradby, ask the questions for us.

I think that's very clear what the BBC's place in the market is I think it's to tell stories with British talent about subjects and issues that you know the very diverse Communities of Britain are interested in so that makes me think of a unique Focus for British broadcasters that can really kind of talk to that is not driven by commercial imperative an abscess under way, so I will say Range and breadth and making sure that we cover all of that plus all the channels becomes really important, but I'm quite sore, but there will be in the newcomers to a new world then get overtaken by others learn from them and I think we're going to see seismic change in platforms in the next two years and how how I'm going to go just now about how I think channels on iPlayer work together.

I think the fact we have tons is so powerful for all of us the fact that it's like almost using your channels to market that content.

The other way responding to that, is is I plan of the city of Commerce just give us approval greater off her and for us to try and help audiences find that offer a service that is specific for a moment because when I watch on Netflix the thing I find most extraordinary about shootings one that was if you could tell it was someone in the UK but there was no idea where there was almost no specific cultural reference no sport nothing actually placed as English I don't think anyone can be as regionally specific as we will need and want to be and I think that's incumbent on us as British broadcaster to do that on the BBC is at the heart of that so.

I think a sense of place a sense of authenticity, I actually think that's what many of our show is so incredibly successful, and I think I might Gentleman Jack is absolutely rooted in truth in that place is really quite specific to to alastair's life, so I think that's great strength.

I probably say the same to happy Valley on the same for years and years.

I think the system is incredibly powerful laughing audience is really love it.

I think everything has to have that no, we're always play with different ways of telling stories, but I've got we're always looking for a diversity of voice settings for stories.

We haven't heard before or subjects with hats visited before but was telling them with a new perspective so I think I think so much choice.

I think it it's it might be challenging but I think it's incredibly exciting for creatives to think how quick is going to stand out and I think that sense of place and having your own also ship will become increasingly important.

For people wanting to pitch to you any kind of idea is what you want.

Just in general changing as a result of these things we talking about, where is it pretty similar to What You've Always look.

No I think it's obvious that changes every year partly because we have such a wealth of good programming out.

It's more incumbent on us to stand out and said that we doing something new and I think whatever would take risks and venture into territory.

Haven't gone before or a grave with the storytelling actually usually get massive audience reward because I think like all of us we all want to get a bit like that before because there's so much.

I don't need to watch something similar that's not to say that those big love goes well with strictly or MasterChef also, it's not to say that you are not constantly refreshing them and we spend a lot of time with the Christians think about those pictures and how can we bring them to new audiences and I think last year's Silent Witness

The largest 1534 audiences that we never had before I think that was because we've had all the past series on iPlayer and so there was a kind of real.

I think we brought a new generations in the same way that I think when you know the place of Gavin and Stacey land is Christmas I I know that all those you another 10 years.

I know that there's going to be new generations of experience in Gavin and Stacey first time at the helm as one of the industry's most experienced controllers Kevin lygo.

So what his plans to succeed in a market audiences are falling and competition has never been tougher sky's the questions team 13.3 million of UK households have signed up to pay TV services that's Risen from 11.2 million in 2017 to present broadcast.

IPlayer and your own house as well, of course.

I haven't watched it would appear.

They are struggling to keep pace with these friends.

Why didn't I think an extraordinary amount of television that viewed is still alive and from terrestrial television 82% is still live on the night.

Honestly sometimes gets a little bit of rest with television in the sense that everybody watching lots and lots and lots of television, but it doesn't mean it's the most important thing in life a lot of people after a day's work whatever it is to go.

What's on tonight at the yeah? They're really important and anyone.

It's only people who are getting good overnight.

So they're not important and so I can proudly say that.

Even if they're going down there still a really good indication of how popular program is coming to watch it so withdraw your immortal you see the overnights have generally gone down.

I mean I bet 5 years ago if Charlotte or I will ask what do you think is going to get we wouldn't have thought that rating they'd be you know for 4 million + quite good because the ketchup is huge now.

We've tried our first have done this before easier for them a living but the pound me the water is recommended on how much is left on the week episode 1 channel and then all available on her and we were very serious really as an experiment to see what.

And sure enough a much larger number than normal went ahead and over the week between episode 12 have watched 2 3 4 5 6 episodes and so and then you look to see how many people have watched it before it went out if you and it was well over a million and so actually is fine and I challenges.

How do we make money out of those people if they're watching it on a service weather on the apps for 599 britbox is a is is a different theme and a wonderful new content on there.

There will be some new content but I think I think with the month to watch britbox with repeats of borrow that I can watch ITV yeah, because there's a lot more to it than repeats of marvellous.

They are I know this is going to have his many things boxes us looking for a new revenue stream.

That doesn't cannibalise advertising revenue it isn't just off the back of the success of our Studios business and global production doing well, but you know everyone knows advertising is challenged and and an uncertain future so boxes about subscription television we all know that viewers and ourselves is lovely to watch shows on there.

You know you choose what you want when you want how you want him stay up late and that is really answer.

We want to be in that business as well because we're we just want to be with you all that party.

Why we don't believe cannibalise are in service arrival to Netflix and Amazon has been billions and billions.

This is a way to use the Archives of the BBC and ITV and though the wonderful things they don't do very much at all but this.

Full of yes famous artists from the past from the BBC and ITV there's so much to watch now and your availability has essentially watch television in the evening between 9:06 and 11 if you think of what you haven't watched a take a successful drama gets 5/6 million viewers that means 40 million people haven't seen it and I've always how many times I say.

It's a really good and people don't come later.

What is a radiator and make them it would be stick with it and so when it's one of the things that will be the word-of-mouth about who did you see that I missed it whatever what it will always be there.

Until the day we die and that's it for NOW TV festival my thanks to the team at the festival to help me with this podcast on my thanks to you for listening will be another edition of the media business podcast in a few weeks time so hit subscribing your podcast have a choice and tell your colleagues to give us a listen remember you can catch up with full episodes of Media business podcast at forecast now.co.uk you can also access more than 400 commissioners who are commissioning index Service Business podcast is a PPM production the media business insight produced by Rebecca Drysdale Sherry the goodbye how to send a hair cut the bow and stop going on.

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