Next: Cannes tackles the future

Must-attend event for shaping future business at Cannes

As a survivor of the music business, I have been warning people about the effect of digital on the movie business for years. Quick reminder: the industry lost 50% of its revenue in ten years. Digital affects everything: distribution, creation, promotion, sales and ultimately finance. I sat at the International Finance Forum last year, and mused that half the room would not be there in five years time. That’s how bad it could be.

It is still possible to build another scenario.  When talking abut these issues, I sometimes get told that it’s a question of “Survival of the fittest”. This half-baked and slightly macho belief is not applicable. Darwin talked about survival of those that had the ability to adapt, not “be fit”.

New challenges, trends and developments within the film industry

How do you get the ability to adapt? The Next series of talks at the Cannes Film Market 2015 is a good place to start. Professionals get an up-to-date program surrounding the new challenges, trends and developments within the film industry. As their programme proclaims, “It is about asking the right questions, taking audacious approaches, acknowledging business realities and exploring the boundaries of the industry. Where are we headed? And what are the possibilities?”

Concretely, NEXT offers a series of round tables, workshops, and special sessions, as well as a Demo Corner to make the Market experience richer and more productive. Since last year, the pavilion has tripled in size. Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer of Netflix, is one of those addressing the market.

Put in other words, what is the most threatening aspect of digital could become one of the most exciting. Get the Next programme here.

Michael Leahy


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