AFRICAN CONTENT IS KING AT DISCOP JOHANNESBURG 2016
LOS ANGELES | JOHANNESBURG – 5 Nov. 2016. DISCOP Johannesburg wrapped up on Friday 4 November after three days of intense deal-making between hundreds of production companies, distributors and media platforms from across Africa and beyond.
With a more streamlined and business-oriented approach, the market saw a major increase in African representation with African content producers taking center stage throughout the event.
Feedback from many of the organizations attending this year’s event all pointed to an increased interest in African content. International distributors, perhaps for the first time, are experiencing major competition from African content producers and suppliers. With twice as many exhibitors from Sub-Saharan Africa as last year, African content on offer was not just more abundant, but also of higher quality.
This content is now in high demand from broadcasters, Pay-Tv operators, Telco’s and mobile and online content aggregators: 218 content distribution platforms from 39 African countries from Africa attended DISCOP Johannesburg, predominantly seeking locally generated content.
This trend is in-line with other regional trends over the past few decades, as Basic Lead CEO and DISCOP Organization Director Patrick Zuchowicki explains,
“Across Central and Eastern Europe, where we started our first DISCOP markets 25 years ago, there was also a marked increase towards locally or regionally produced content. Whilst international content was not fully replaced, better production values in locally produced content spurred an increase in interest in homegrown content that still exists today. Africa is now at the start of that same trend that will see more and better produced African content taking its place on screens across Africa and beyond. Our international content producers were certainly feeling the heat this year from the increase in both the quantity and quality of African content on offer.”
Whilst registration was up for this year’s DISCOP Johannesburg, the event team was mindful to ensure a high quality mix of serious producers and distributors – and this year’s event had a much more business-focused feel, as many delegates will attest.
267 independent production companies were in attendance hailing from Africa – an increase from 193 last year – to take part in a rich program of talks, workshops and pitching sessions offered alongside the 3-day market.
The total number of companies participating in this year’s event was 742, an increase from last year’s 637 and the organizers are optimistic about the continued growth of the annual DISCOP Johannesburg and DISCOP Abidjan events. The USA was welcomed as this years’ Guest Country as part of ongoing effort to assist and encourage American independent producers and platforms to build stronger ties with South Africa.
As part of a concerted effort to promote film content produced in Africa, DISCOP Johannesburg partnered up with the inaugural edition of the Johannesburg Film Festival, which ran from 28 October to 4 November.
Next year’s DISCOP Johannesburg will take place from October 25-27 in order to not to conflict with the American Film Market anymore. DISCOP Abidjan will take place from 30 May to 1 June.
ABOUT THE DISCOP Organization
Founded in 1991, the DISCOP Organization plans market programs driven by B2B meetings that help buyers from developing world regions access prime television content and programs at affordable prices. DISCOP markets are held four times a year, in Dubai, Abidjan, Istanbul and Johannesburg and target B2C content distribution platforms operating primarily in Central and Eastern Europe, North and Sub-Saharan Africa, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), the Middle East, the Indian Sub-Continent, Oceania and South East Asia.