The sixth edition of DISCOP Istanbul saw a total of 709 participants from 70 countries take part in the three-day market, numbers similar to the 2013 edition, a year-on-year drop from last year caused by recent security threats in Turkey.
102 TV content sales organisations were in attendance and reported strong business.
Expanded human resources and reinforced onsite matchmaking assistance delivered a better than average number of meetings among the participating sellers, buyers and producers. Co-organizer Basic Lead’s pro-active meetings organization is one of the services that make their Discop family of markets stand out in the MEA region (Middle East and Africa).
Many attendees highlighted that this edition’s quieter pace provided more time to establish relevant relationships with the 402 programming executives who arrived in Istanbul to acquire film, TV series, adaptation rights and packaged TV channels and replenish their grids with new content.
20% of all global film, TV content and adaptation rights sales are represented by Turkey, CEE, MENA and CIS countries.
In Turkey, the boom in drama exports arrested development of the local unscripted segment, formats for export in particular. Turkish networks prefer to stay on the safe side and import big-name unscripted formats rather than delve into original ideas.
In Arab markets, the success of content rests with its virality on social media and values in the case of local content. International popularity is important in the case of Western content acquisitions.
This year, FRAPA, an organization that aims to protect format rights worldwide, teamed up with Discop Istanbul for their conference sessions known under the name of Discopro.
Fiction takes central stage in most of the Eurasian territories. According to Prensario International, an industry publication, “Fiction formats will continue to be heavily demanded at this Discop. Not only the Middle East is seeking scripted series to adapt, but also Turkey (from Korea mainly, but also Italy), and some North African and CIS countries.”
The organizers of Discop Istanbul managed to get the Tech Export Union of Turkey to invite 100 buyers on a HOSTED BUYER program.
Interestingly, 60% of the buyers present at Discop Istanbul do not attend other international content fairs.
Launched back in the day as Discop West Asia, Discop Istanbul follows the entrepreneurial intuition of the first years of Discop East, also founded by Basic Lead, which was from the outset held in Budapest, Hungary. NATPE acquired Discop East in 2012, organized the 2013 edition in Budapest and then moved to Prague, Czech Republic — to later return to Budapest.
Dates for the next edition of Discop Istanbul will be announced soon, following a survey to be undertaken in the coming days to help the organizers select 2017 dates that will maximise the effectiveness and return on investment for DISCOP Istanbul organizers.
Around this time of year, Discop Istanbul is followed by Rio Content Market (March 9-11). As London-based industry publication C21Media observes, “Both [market-hosting nations Turkey and Brazil] are already major exporters of content but are known for just one genre: drama. One theme unites both markets and that’s the need for product diversification.”
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