NATPE opens global content marketplace for a digital world in Miami

by Cathy Corcoran

Evolving to meet the demands of a changing media landscape, NATPE brings buyers, sellers and brand/advertising experts together this week in Miami to explore fresh new content, learn about developing technologies, and make the deals that will drive the market in 2014 and beyond.

The 2014 conference theme is “No Barriers. New Business,” reflecting NATPE’s commitment to creating the first and most important must-attend market of the year.  


More than 300 exhibitor companies are presenting a full slate of daytime, access, off-network and new shows in development. Often called “The Marketplace of the Americas,” NATPE will feature a wide variety of Spanish language programs for audiences throughout the Americas and the world. 

The conference will have a distinct international flavor, with exhibitors coming from 23 different countries and nearly half of the registered buyers coming from outside the US, representing 46 different countries. 

In addition to traditional broadcast programming, the conference will focus on digital technologies that bridge the gap between linear and digital programming.

Jordan Levin, Co-Chair of NATPE, president of Alloy Digital and CEO of Generate, said, “I believe that screens are going to continue to blur. Content will continue to migrate across screens in an increasingly seamless manner. The screens that afford the consumer the most immersive and interactive experience will become the most dominant over time, especially as younger audiences age.”


“Screen-blurring” is already here, as syndicated programs such as Let’s Ask America, The Social, Right This Minute and others invite viewer interaction in real time via Facebook, Twitter and other social media. 


NATPE’s Monday keynote presentation will feature Fred Graver, Twitter’s Head of TV, and Jean-Philippe Maheu, Twitter’s Managing Director, Global Brand & Agency Strategy. Lauren Zalaznick, Founder of LZ Sunday Papers, will moderate the conversation, which will focus on new ways for producers, distributors, network and local station executives can use Twitter to boost ratings, revenue and engagement with audiences.

Twitter has more than 645 million active users, with an estimated 135,000 new users signing up daily. An average of 58 million tweets – more than 9,000 per second – are sent each day. 


Another key session at the convention will report on qualitative results from the recent study co-commissioned by NATPE and the Consumer Electronics Association.  This presentation will focus on interviews with TV program producers and show-runners, and how Second Screen affects the way they develop content and incorporate it into their programs.


Kevin Beggs, Chairman, Lionsgate Television Group, said, “Not only will second screen viewing continue to grow, but I am seeing third screen viewing as another element in the equation.  Yes, that's right.  Third screen.  TV. Tablet. PDA/Phone.  It is upon us.”


You might expect to see producers, programmers and technology experts at NATPE, but now, brand experts and large advertisers are also more prominent.


Babs Rangaiah, Vice President for Global Media Innovation and Ventures at Unilever, said, "There are dramatic changes taking place in the consumer and media landscape because of technology.  Everything from the way we view photos, to how we watch video, listen to music, get our news and even how we read has been transformed. This has a direct impact on Unilever as the second biggest advertiser in the world.  


“Content, both the creation and distribution of it, has historically been controlled by Hollywood. And yet now, almost anyone can create and distribute content and they can do it at scale. Additionally, consumers want to consume whatever content they want, whenever they want it and on whatever device they choose. They don’t want to spend much for it - if anything - and they have the technological tools to avoid most advertising. 


“What all this means is that brands have an unprecedented opportunity to engage with consumers in more meaningful ways. So what we are interested in by attending NATPE is connecting with creators and distributors to help us shift from a ‘campaign’ approach to more of a sustained hybrid advertising/content approach.”

In order to stay up to date on these dizzying changes, attendees can choose from sessions such as How Will People Watch TV Tomorrow...Or Will They Even Watch it? On the business side, experts will ponder the question, Television Everywhere: How Will Profits Grow as Screens Diversify?


Conference sessions are grouped into different tracks, including Storytellers Who Have Shaped Pop Culture, which features Oscar- and Emmy-winning writer, director and producer James L. Brooks in conversation with writer and producer Phil Rosenthal, of “Everybody Loves Raymond”; Andy Cohen, creator and hose of “Watch What Happens Live!”; Marta Kauffman, writer and creator of “Friends”; and Terence Winter, executive producer of “Boardwalk Empire”.


Speakers in the Game Changers track include Sean Atkins, SVP/GM, Digital Networks & Commerce, Discovery Communications; Drew Buckley, COO and Head of Digital, Electus; Alex Carloss, Global Head of Entertainment, YouTube; Fred Graver, Head of TV, Twitter Media; Erin McPherson, Chief Content Officer, Maker Studios, Inc.; Jim Packer, President, Worldwide Television & Digital Distribution, Lionsgate; Babs Rangaiah, VP, Global Media Innovation & Ventures, Unilever; and Valari Dobson Staab, President, NBC-Owned Television Stations, NBCUniversal Television Stations.


The Masters of Marketing track features Andy Donkin, Head of Worldwide Brand and Mass Marketing,; Joseph Feczko, SVP, Innovation Integration and Broadcast, Macy’s Corporate Marketing; Rob De Feo, Innovation Leader, Expedia, Inc.; David Levy, President, Turner Broadcasting; and Bryan Thoensen, Director, Head of Brand Content, Hulu.


The lineup of Global Navigators includes Emilio Azcarraga Jean, Chairman of the Board & Chief Executive Officer, Televisa Internacional; Alberto Ciurana, President, Programming and Content Univision Networks, Univision; Mike Beale, Director of International Formats, ITV Studios; Andy Kaplan, President SPT Networks, Sony Pictures Television; and Andrew Zein, SVP, Creative, Format Development and Sales, Warner Bros. International Television Production.


New at this year’s convention, the Platforms Accelerated track features Dana Brunetti, President & CEO, Trigger Street Productions; Alex Moulle-Berteaux, Chief Commercial Officer, Aereo; David Poltrack, Chief Research Officer, CBS Corp.; Wayne Scholes, CEO, Red Touch Media; Frank Sinton, Founder & CEO, Beachfront Media; Sima Sistani, Director of Mobile Growth, Yahoo!; Anthony Wood, Founder and CEO, Roku, Inc.


Also new this year is the Access to Insight: 30 Minutes at C-Level track, a series of closed-door sessions offering an unparalleled opportunity to attend a variety of “master classes” with trend-defining media industry leaders, executives and creators, and participate in unique conversations regarding current business models, strategies and best practices.  


These sessions will feature presentations by Mark Crumpacker, Chief Marketing Officer, Chipotle; Kris Magel, Chief Investment Officer, Initiative; David McKillop, EVP and GM, A&E; Bill O’Dowd, CEO, Dolphin; Howard T. Owens, President, National Geographic Channel; Tony Pace, Chief Marketing Officer, Subway; John P. Roberts, SVP Digital Media and Commercial Affairs, Endemol; Tim Spengler, President, Clear Channel Media; and Michael Garcia, Chief Creative Officer, Televisa USA, and Ryan C. Likes, Chief of Operations and Business Affairs, Televisa USA.


Though most of the Access to Insight sessions were fully booked during early registration, enterprising attendees can show up to grab empty seats from previously-registered no-shows.


Lest attendees fear that NATPE is all work and no-play, they should remember the Welcome Party at the Eden Roc Hotel Sunday night 6 - 8PM, sponsored by the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau; the Opening Night Party Monday night poolside at the Fontainebleau Hotel, sponsored by Cisneros Media Distribution and Samsung; and the 11th Annual Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Award Ceremony and Dinner Tuesday night 6 - 8PM in the Fontainbleau’s Glimmer Ballrooms, sponsored by Television, 20th Television, Lionsgate, NBCUniversal and B & C Multichannel News. Separate tickets are required for the Tartikoff Ceremony.