munich escalator 2Medientage is the biggest German TV industry show, an annual get together of the entire local industry to meet and explore current issues and trends – so a good place to seek to drive some profile and get a better grip on the opportunities of Europe’s second biggest media marketplace.

Within the Innovation strand I produced and chaired a highly eclectic panel, mixing Bollywood, Hip Hop and Minecraft under the banner of Next Gen TV – definitely the most diverse event in a show lacking differentiation….

Whilst varying hugely in content styles and scale the panelists had a number of key similarities – they are all driving innovation across digital platforms, adapting content styles and production through active and responsive dialogues with their identifiable communities of interest.

ZeeTV’s European CEO Neeraj Dhingra describes its role as ‘the cultural ambassador for Bollywood”, delivering a global audience of 730 million plus across 169 territories and multiple Zee channels – an audience which starts originally with an Indian diaspora but now expands well beyond (for example, they are big in Russia). Increasingly they are moving from their traditional formats to newer shortform online content.

Emerging from the West London hip hop scene SBTV grew organically to rapidly become a primary vehicle for breaking new music and go to channel for major brands seeking to access a hard to reach young urban audience – with millions of YouTube views for its content focused on music, lifestyle and youth culture.

Another YouTube phenomenon, Yogscast has 20 million subscribers and serves the equivalent 70 years of minutes of footage every day. Primarily games industry focused the content is entertainment, but bears almost no relation to television style formatting for an audience of 12-20 years old who don’t watch TV anyway.

Across an hour the panel walked a packed German audience through their brands and discussed the opportunities of digital channels and the feedback loop with their audience – with their ability to track viewers and their actions (who they are, what did they watch, when did they stop, when did they share) providing insight and data which is wrapped immediately back into their production cycle, continuously adapting their approach.

And this direct connection with their audience also provides the currency and credibility which generates commercial potential. A final question of “what’s the most exciting thing for your company in the next 12 months?” drew answers which were reflective of the pace of technology change and also the confidence of the businesses to deliver given their intimate understanding of their marketplace – all detailed exciting extension projects which add scale and diversity to already successful businesses.

And hopefully that will include a 170th territory for Zee TV as they continued discussions on a future German channel presence.

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