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Endemol Asia boss: Asian TV producers need to be bolder to compete in global format race

DSCF4426The Asian head of international television production house Endemol has told a forum that Asian television producers needed to improve before they were competitive in the global race to create international TV formats.

Delivering the opening keynote yesterday at the Creative Content Production Conference at the Marina Bay Sands hotel, in Singapore, Fotini Paraskakis managing director of Asian operations for Endemol challenged Asia’s television production industry to be “bolder and less risk adverse”.

“The future is pretty bright here in Asia but from a producer and content perspective we need to do a few things before we are really in the running for the international format race” Paraskakis told the audience.

“We need to better understand the global content and consumer trends and rise above what we did locally. Sometimes what we do locally doesn’t resonate overseas.”

Paraskakis’s speech challenged content producers to think about creating content that would translate across culture and continents.

“We have to also pick more cross cultural themes that cross well from East to West and that are easy to grasp and have simple ideas for everyone,” she said, speaking at the event which is part of the Broadcast Asia conference.

“We (also need to) learn more about the basic mechanics of formats and why they work, understand the digital format and how that keeps rolling out successfully.”

The Endemol Asia boss said that a culture that avoid risk and was hamstrung by budgets also limited the creativity and ideas coming from Asia.

“This one might also be a bit tricky but we need to be bolder and less risk adverse when commissioning content. Right now a lot of things are driven by budgets and advertising, sales and marketing and it is quite tough to get those ideas out,” she argued.

“We need to take risks or otherwise we are not going to develop into global players.”

Speaking about the cross pollination of idea Paraskakis revealed that she saw some of the best markets for content between the developing markets of Asia and Latin America.

“Whenever we see a show from Latin America we look very closely as quite often it is successful for us,” said Paraskakis.

“Although a lot of content is still created in the west there is a lot of stuff happening in our part of the world. We are seeing quite a lot of asian faces and asian themes appearing in Western storylines.”

“Even Western content is being slightly localised for Asian audiences… K Pop is also now a fad, particularly in Latin America and we now have shows based on that and they are now also coming to Europe.”

“It is quite interesting some of the trends, we see Asian trends moving over to the west and the west is now accommodating more for Asian audiences. This means that Asian content is beginning to get traction on all platforms.”

Nic Christensen

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