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NEM 2019 shines with Alan Cumming, Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba

The second day of the NEM conference welcomed the big Hollywood stars Alan Cumming, Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba. Discussions were dedicated to customers, their needs and preferences in the form of free trials and sustainable relationship with the provider.

NEM attendees had an exclusive screening of an L.A.’s Finest episode from Sony Pictures Television, and enjoyed the company of Union and Alba, who star in the leading roles and are executive producers of the show. ‘Very few women in the entertainment industry have a chance to create and produce. Especially when crime is the main focus of the show, but Gabrielle has made the show which puts people in the focus, especially the friendship between two strong women’, said Alba.

Union added that, even though the series was made to be appealing to a wide audience, it was not difficult to feature different elements: ‘Once we were challenged with the drama and action and comedy at the same time, it was simple to switch between all of those. We used the first season to lay out how characters became who they are and to establish a strong connection between them’, she affirmed.

Participants also met Cumming and hear his thoughts on his new TV show Instinct by CBS Studios International. His character Dr. Dylan Reinhart, a professor consulting NYPD in a case of a serial killer, is the first gay leading character in an American drama show. ‘People enjoy mocking things like Crocs, Uggs and Jessica Simpson. I try to fight this culture of mocking by promoting those things. That is how I ended up wearing Croc shoes on the red carpet and playing the first gay leading character in an American drama show’, he commented.

On the industry side, Pavel Stanchev introduced TV2 Media Group, the largest Hungarian TV group. In his conversation with Sanja Božić-Ljubičić, CEO and Owner of Mediatranslations, Mediavision and Pickbox, he shared the most valuable lessons from his experience in the media industry, especially the CEE region.

‘Every country in the CEE region is different. You cannot be successful if you don’t pay attention to those differences. NEM is a great place to exchange ideas about what works in which country. More and more Hollywood studios are announcing their streaming services. Hungarian market is protected from their influence because of its specific language, but sooner or later these services will enter the market. Any such service will have to cooperate with local broadcasters to succeed in the new market. Local productions play a bigger and bigger role in streaming services. For example The Paper, a series produced in Croatia that was bought by Netflix at NEM’.

Discussing customer satisfaction, Simon McGrath, COO and SVP Sales, ThinkAnalytics, emphasized the importance of learning from customer behavior for developing a sustainable relationship. Also, the participants of the discussion agreed that platforms have to be fast and flexible because audience habits are changing daily. One of the participants of the panel, Gerry O’Sullivan, EVP at Global TV and Video at Eutelsat, remarked that companies in the TV industry shouldn't be forcing innovations in technology without following current trends and acceptance of those trends in different markets. ‘Technological development should be gradual, it should be an evolution’, he said.

There was also a panel about the necessity and effectiveness of free trials. Gilles Domartini, founder and CEO of Cleeng, presented astonishing data about the effectiveness of free trials for attracting customers. ‘In the US, 58% of the people who take a free trial continue to use the service after that period has ended. The strategy needs to be adapted to the type of the content’, said Domartini. The discussion about the effectiveness of the free trials was concluded with a thought that the effectiveness of free trials depends on the quality of the product.

One of the panels was also dedicated to the importance of sports content for television broadcasters. Referring to that connection, Georgios Lykouropoulos, Head of Sports, ERT S.A. Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation, pointed out the role of the audience. ‘I disagree with people saying that sports content is a product. I think that it is an event that becomes a product and it is not ours, it is people’s’, he stated.

Refreshment during this well-filled day was offered by Euronews, Bitmovin and SPI/FilmBox as a chance for networking. The evening was dedicated to Eutelsat Party, NEM’s partner.


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