Tag Archives: Creativity-earned investment

Talent and literary agency: dummies edition

The single biggest expense most companies incur is the cost of acquiring the customer. Every other move increases your customer’s immediate and lifetime value.

As a patient talent manager or a shrewd talent and literary agency (TLA) owner you could choose to make no profit until you’ve secured your talent and showed them the easiest way to return to you at any given time.

If you manage to find creative ways to not make a living from your core offer but rather assidiously convert leads into paying customers — sometimes at the expense of your profit margin — you could become unstoppable.

You could take everything you make from the Core Offer and reinvest it to acquire more customers. You build a system in which you can spend more to acquire more customers than your competitors.

Keli Lee sharing wisdom as Head of Casting and Talent for ABC Entertainment:

Every night in New York I would see a live theater production or a comedy show. I would look for outstanding talent, bring them in for auditions, and even if the actor wasn’t cast, I would bank the information. You want a list of people who you know are good and draw from that talent pool when the right character comes up.

Another way to boost your success as a talent and literary agency manager/owner is not to think of yourself as an agent. Train yourself to employ one of theseven heuristic methods that help you think clearly: purposefully think in terms of broader definitions and see what insights you’ll gain from the perimeters. Take Irving Paul “Swifty” Lazar who described himself as a “dealmaker” and as such didn’t feel constrained by the normal rules of talent management of his time. Lazar was famous for his swiftness in making deals for any talent, not limited to his own clients.

For those of you scared by the prospect of alienating TLA colleagues, most of the times you can always work out some kind of an amicable arrangement with whoever you initially cut out of the deal.

Sometimes he takes his ten per cent from the buyer, sometimes from the seller—sometimes, it was rumored in the old days, from both. This is exactly how creative TLA manager Lazar helped himself test the waters and check the market value of a best-selling author.

Most creative businesses fail because they either…

  • ..fail to offer a desired “After” state (The offer sucks)
  • ..fail to articulate the movement from “Before” to “After” (their marketing is mediocre)

Great TLA managers speak to how a talent will FEEL, how their AVERAGE DAY will change and how their STATUS will elevate.

Consider some of these marketing tips:

Aim for a gut reaction, and pay special attention to how your materials look when scanned quickly (no one has the time or inclination to do that anymore).

Some 90 % of all data that our brains process is visual. Use images—but make them special.

We are wired from birth to recognize and prefer human faces. Use real people in your talent marketing materials.

62 to 90 % of our feeling about a product is determined by color alone. Be mindful about colors.

We have an innate desire to conform. Remove anxiety, signal belonging and build credibility with an audience by using endorsements from well-known influencers in your market; customer testimonials woven into the fabric of your website.

Email andreakozlov@gmail.com for more personalized tips on how to manage talent and be profitable at it.

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Watch smaller smart cities as they emerge in Africa

this survey by Andy Kozlov was first published on Smart City Africa site

“Creating decentralized strategies”

Some 75 % of global population live in urban settlements of fewer than 500,000 people. The figure will only get higher with time. Smaller cities, especially across Africa, are projected to double/triple in population over the next 15-25 years. Secondary cities vary considerably in size. In China, some have populations of over five million, while in Ethiopia they have fewer than 200,000.

“Job Opportunities”

Creating decentralized strategies to provide basic services to smaller “intermediate” cities and towns can facilitate the transition between rural and non-rural activities and take pressure off Africa’s megacities.

 

“Taking pressure off Africa’s megacities”

“This is where most investment and urban planning need to take place: equipping [Intermediate cities] with proper infrastructure, helping deliver basic services and enabling them for the generation of job opportunities,” argues Edgar Pieterse of the African Centre for Cities.
In West Africa, Ghana works to relieve pressure on Accra and Kumasi by building the capacity of local government, training planners and local councillors in smaller cities. On the other side of the continent, in Uganda, a partnership between Belgium-based Cities Alliance and the British Department for International Development focuses on 14 secondary cities, to boost the long-term planning capacities of local governments and assit slum dwellers.

“Rolling out broadband”

“In most African cities, planning is done short term, in five-year or maybe ten-year plans. It’s important for these cities to increase their planning horizons to 30 years,” explains Samuel Mabala of Cities Alliance.

Connect smaller cities to the world outside the national borders

Smart city analysts from across the Atlantic argue that broadband has become the great economic leveler of our time. Any small place that is home to an industrial or post-industrial economy, that is “robustly connected” can be a global competitor.

“Cities where  we live for the sake of the place”

If small cities in the middle of nowhere become hotbeds of company formation in the United States, can’t their African peers follow, follow fast? How significant is the number of places in Africa where people want to live for the sake of the place, not just a paycheck?

Create positive change by tapping into the land market

One thing is certain: land in Mohammedia, a port city on the west coast of Morocco between Casablanca and Rabat, can be cheaper for its population of 188,619 than in Nairobi, Kenya, home to some 3 million people. And all these African cities mentioned above have one enormous advantage over tech hubs like Silicon Valley, Austin, Boston or New York.  Land is cheap.
Mohammedia, a port city on the west coast of Morocco between Casablanca and Rabat
Mohammedia, a port city on the west coast of Morocco between Casablanca and Rabat
As James Fallows, a national correspondent for The Atlantic, puts it “‘Every calculation – the cash flow you must maintain, the life balance you can work toward – is different when a nice family house costs a few hundred thousand dollars rather than a few million.” Again, in smaller African cities that family house can cost you well south of USD100,000.

“Cheaper rental prices, and a higher growth potential”

Take Koforidua, Eastern Region in south Ghana (some 130,000 people). An almost completed two-bedroom house with double garage and a large plot surrounding it trades in Koforidua for GH₵ 249,600 (Fixed USD price: $ 64,000).

 

By investing in smaller cities, real estate developers and industry professionals benefit from lower operating costs, greater space and scenery for construction, lower costs for resources and building materials. While bigger economic capitals have the advantage over smaller, lesser known cities — due to greater recognition around the world — cheaper rental prices, less competition, and a higher growth potential is enabling smaller emerging cities in Africa to rise to the challenge.

Coupled with reliable broadband and state-of-the-art medical services, smaller African cities — oftentimes a step away from breathtaking natural beauty — are to become your idea of a city of the 21st century.
University of Kikwit in DRC. Intermediary city of Kikwit  is home to some 400,000 people in the southwestern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Source: lighteningkongo.wordpress.com
University of Kikwit in DRC. Intermediary city of Kikwit is home to some 400,000 people in the southwestern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Source: lighteningkongo.wordpress.com

Get smart about attracting investors

The picture is not without pitfalls of course. Laura Mann, International Development department at London School of Economics (LSE), observes that on the national level African policy-makers should think much more strategically about how African nations can capture value within their economies through the proliferation of information technologies and the deepening of the digital economy.

“National policies that fund local R&D and training programmes”

Recent reports by institutions like UNECA, UNCTAD and UNIDO suggest that African governments need to be extremely strategic in their dealings with foreign companies; to make sure those investments and activities contribute to raising the skill level in African countries, providing outsourcing and procurement opportunities for local businesses and paying taxes that can fund local R&D and training programmes.

But it is a two-way road. National government in Kenya tried to promote Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) by subsidising the cost of bandwidth to all BPO companies that wanted to try to engage in the sector. Some unskilled local companies received that support, and harmed the overall reputation of Kenyan firms in the eyes of international clients.

“Making African economies more predictable”

As more African governments shift to e-governance and more city dwellers use mobiles, internet connections and smartcards, massive amounts of transactional data is generated. This makes African economies more predictable, smaller cities in Africa more visible to foreign investors. Back to LSE wisdom on smart cities in Africa:

 

Behind the widely circulated images of slum dwellers using mobile technologies to improve daily lives, the dominance of large ICT companies, a splintered urban landscape, land dispossession and the securitisation of urban space reveal a more complicated potential smart urban future.

Smaller African cities will have to be smart about opening markets and opportunities, a policy that should primarily contribute to development of their own communities — rather than large corporations or the local elites.

La Cite du Fleuve, in DR Congo is creating a series of overlapping sources of tension in Kinshasa including struggles around land ownership and issues of dispossession that begin to lay bare the rhetoric of smart urban developments across Africa.

There are two core problems with housing urban populations in smaller cities as they grow: land is not made available for new settlements and people aren’t able to afford the type of houses that are built.

Empower your city residents

Beyond the narrative that tends to put smart city Africa into the realm of technology, smaller African cities should guard against becoming exclusive enclaves or archipelagos of high technology. Smart African communities should prioritize people and avoid withdrawing from the wider city.

“Getting beyong exclusive enclaves and archipelagos of high technology”

Function and role – as opposed to population size – are now defining an intermediary city’s status within the global network of cities. In this context, talent attraction and retention become factors that differentiate Gondar, a secondary city of 358,257 in the north of Ethiopia from Kikwit  (home to some 400,000 people)  in the southwestern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
 Gondar, a secondary city of 358,257 in the north of Ethiopia
Gondar, a secondary city of 358,257 in the north of Ethiopia
Research and technology development are particularly important assets that help to differentiate city economies from each other, resulting in an emphasis on industrial specialization and the role of universities.

 

Smart specialization strategies promoted by the European Union are designed to encourage each region to identify transformation priorities that reflect and amplify existing local structures and competencies, and thus produce original and unique competitive advantages.

Brazil is already a major exporter of content but it’s known for just one genre: drama

originally prepared by Andy Kozlov (@KozlovAndy) for Markettime.info,  Your 24/7 Source about World’s TV Markets

The sixth edition of Rio Content Market (March 9-11, with a warm-up day on March 8) saw 3,000-plus executives from 32 countries register for the event.

The event aims to continue expanding the international market for multi-platform content produced by Brazil’s TV and digital media industries. The whole package is there: keynote speakers, lectures, panel discussions, content screenings, face-to-face meetings and Rodadas de Negócios (Business Rounds) pitching sessions.

Some 1,180 business meetings were scheduled with more than 1,000 projects being presented; 206 executives spoke at conference panels; 198 key players traveled to Brazil to acquire content.

This year’s buyer list featured top global OTT companies: Amazon Studios, Hulu and Netflix. Philip Matthys, Hulu’s head of business affairs for original series, came to present their business model and commissioning guidelines for original content for the streaming service

Al Arabiya (UAE), First HDTV (Russia), TVP (Poland), Canal 22 (Mexico), ZDF-Arte (France-Germany) and NHK (Japan) also attend RCM to seek co-production partners.

Delegations from 6 countries — Argentina, Canada, France, the UK, South Africa and Germany — exhibited at the RCM 2016.

A total of 18 dramas, documentary and kids’ program projects were selected to form part of the Rio Content Market’s pitching sessions this year. There producers had seven minutes to present a project and another seven for a debate with the panel.

The worldwide trend towards more locally developed content was reinforced by Keshet International (global distribution arm of Israeli media company Keshet Media Group) rolling out their brand new format Elevator Pitch, developed in partnership with a Brazilian producer.

Conference panels convened in seven different rooms to discuss various hot topics of the Brazilian and international TV industries: business regulation, content trends, what buyers look for.

Launched in 2011, just after the approval of Brazil’s Law 12.485, Rio Content Market became witness to a revolution in the Brazilian indie TV production. The 2011 law obliged pay TV operators to air 3.5 hours of local content per week.

After the recent currency devaluation in Brazil and the increase in the production costs, free TV players have begun to take advantage of the state-funding programs, such us Fundo Setorial do Audiovisual and Article 39 of the SeAC Law, through partnerships between independent production companies and pay TV networks.

Manoel Rangel, head of the Brazilian Film Agency was quoted as saying that at this stage “the sector is mature enough for the regulation of the VOD market.”

The Brazilian Film Commission Network (Rebrafic) and PACT (trade association representing the commercial interests of UK independent television, film, digital, children’s and animation media companies) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to promote co-productions of films, TV and other audiovisual projects. The Canadian Media Found (CMF) closed a deal with funding agency SPCine from Sao Paulo to develop five joint projects between Brazilian and Canadian companies.

One trend is clear in Brazil: there has to be more product diversification. As London-based industry publication C21Media observes, “Brazil is already a major exporter of content but [it’s] known for just one genre: drama.”

Curated by Esmeralda Produções and organized by Fagga | GL Events Exhibitions, Rio Content Market is now recognized as one of the largest events for the audiovisual industry in Latin America.

During its previous five editions more than 14,000 industry professionals took part in the event. The trade show has been organized annually by the Brazilian Association of Independent TV Producers (ABPITV). ABPTIV brings together over 580 companies from all of Brazil’s five regions that produce TV and new media content for the domestic and international market.

Find more about Rio Content Market on MarketTime

You can write to Andy Kozlov on andreakozlov@gmail.com

CEE, MENA and CIS are behind 20% of all Global TV, Film Content and Adaptation Rights Sales

originally prepared by Andy Kozlov (@KozlovAndy) for Markettime.info,  Your 24/7 Source about World’s TV Markets

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.”

You can write to Andy Kozlov on andreakozlov@gmail.com