Despite the challenging year that Spanish content sales companies have faced, new business opportunities continue to emerge
Sales agents are adapting to the new market circumstances in different ways and trying to take advantage of the new opportunities the market presents.
Because productions and shootings were unfortunately particularly scarce during the pandemic, and buyers need audiovisual content, completed projects benefited from this demand. So in this sense, sales have increased.
For Laura Fornelio, sales director at Onza Distribution, the recent edition of MIPCOM Online Plus "has helped us reach new clients. We took the opportunity to expand our contact network, although we preferred to contact our existing ones directly by email and organize meetings on our own.
"This year has been very different. We usually start working on MIPCOM's agenda in August, but this year we had to organize it with very little time in advance, a few weeks. On one hand, the time we’ve had to prepare for meetings has been shorter, but on the other hand, this has been an advantage since we’ve been able to work on adding new content to our catalog and create a more solid strategy of each one of them."
The ICEX platform Audiovisual from Spain "has helped us promote A History of the Future, a production by Onza for the History Channel. We closed a deal for more than 100 hours of documentaries with them that we are starting to move through MIPCOM. We hope to close deals on this show soon," she explains.
During MIPCOM, Onza sold Movistar Latam's TV series Adulting to Pantaya, the Spanish-language platform for the US market. It also signed several agreements for soap operas in the Baltic states, Macao and Serbia.
In fiction, it recently closed a deal with NENT to broadcast the TV series Little Coincidences through the Scandinavian platform Viaplay.
Little Coincidences is a production by Onza Entertainment, Medio Limón and Atresmedia Studios and was the first Spanish TV series on the Amazon Exclusive label. The series is being adapted by NBC and Universal Studios for the United States under the title Someone Out There.
NENT's interest in Spanish fiction is considerable, as demonstrated by the deal signed with The Mediapro Studio to add the TV series I Am Alive, Los Internacionales, Lifeline and Night and Day to Viaplay, which will be joining The Head, a co-production by The Mediapro Studio with Hulu Japan and HBO Asia.
According to Marta Ezpeleta, head of The Mediapro Studio Distribution, this deal with NENT "confirms the outstanding quality of our fiction productions and providers’ interest in having an increasingly global program schedule.
Wild Stories Distribution, the boutique distributor led by Pablo Alemán that focuses on nature documentaries, has also adapted to the uncomfortable market situation and managed to close deals with companies such as Discovery Channel, KBS and Ushuïa TV during MIPCOM Online. "We are currently negotiating other important international deals," says Alemán.
Wild Stories regularly collaborates with Audiovisual From Spain, which it considers "a cornerstone for our commercial actions abroad."
"We’ve always had a friendly, direct and fluid relationship, which complements our own efforts to reach more clients and countries," he explains.
José Antonio Salso, head of International Sales for Atresmedia TV, stressed that the presence of his group at this virtual MIPCOM largely revolved around the success of the TV series Veneno and its recent premiere on HBO Max in the United States, coinciding with the Transgender Day of Remembrance.
However, it is clear that the market continues to move at a slower pace. As Antonio Saura, the CEO of Latido Films, points out: "The market is slow right now, and things take longer. The online buyer doesn’t react as quickly as the face-to-face buyer, and that is a fact. And the overall uncertainty doesn't help either."