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All photography courtesy of Stefania Rosini Photography
Digital Media and Entertainment
It is never easy to follow a great event as the MEET ITALY launch of November 2017, but the teams of MEET ITALY and the Italian Institute of Culture Los Angeles once again proved that passion and professionality can deliver recurrent successes.
On March 22, MEET ITALYT and IIC hosted a high-level panel on the new dynamics impacting the world of media and entertainment. The discussion was moderated by Miles Cooley, entertainment lawyer and partner at DLA Piper, who was joined on stage by the following distinguished panelists: Martha De Laurentiis, American producer, Eleonora Granata, Italian producer, Joseph Calabrese, Chair of the Entertainment, Sports and Media Practice at Latham and Watkins LLP, and Lorenzo Soria, Board Member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
The discussion was insightful and multifaceted. Many elements were touched upon such as the increasing fragmentation of the distribution landscape which is not only impacting revenue models but also audience behavior and possibly content production. This line of discussion brought up the question of survival of the large studios. Joseph Calabrese pointed out how many fights over the decades studios had to face and how they generally adapted. While the exact model of survival might still be an unknown, they should adapt one more time. Calabrese also referred to the surfacing of new models such as the Amazon approach, where the streaming platform works in sync with the commercial platform as a way to increase sales.
On the issue of who will be emerging as the winner in this media reshaping, Lorenzo Soria, astutely reminded everyone how only ten year ago, Netflix came to the forefront with an idea – shipping DVDs – completely different than their streaming service which is now truly the future of the company. In other words, probably nobody has already figured out the new direction, and major (as well as minor) players are all actively jockeying for a "slice of heaven."
While the ultimate winner may still be unknown, our panelists seemed in general agreement with Martha De Laurentiis that the power pendulum might have swung over to the content producers. Fragmentation of distribution platforms opens the door to many more projects becoming viable.
On the issue of content and streaming platforms, Eleonora Granata indicated how local productions helped new streaming distributors gain quick market shares in international markets. Interestingly, such local productions have in many cases turned out to be successful programs in many other markets including the ever important North American one. Discussions over the internationalization of the entertainment markets also highlighted how increasingly important foreign sales are becoming for all players.
The evening also presented remarks by Valeria Rumori, Director of the IIC and Jeff Capaccio, founder of SVIEC, who flew in from Silicon Valley to attend the event. Davide Accomazzo, co-founder of MEET ITALY also updated the audience on the progresses made by the platform and outlined two future projects*. Following the presentations, panelists and the audience mixed in the cozy library of the IIC as the inclement weather did not allow us to network in the patio under the So Cal stars.
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* MEET ITALY will actively work on developing a higher level of engagement with its base via digital activities - i.e. website, blog, etc. - and will work toward favoring the establishment of subgroups based on specific competencies (I.e. Media and Entertainment, Science, Finance, etc.).
We are also active in developing a plan that will ensure its long term economic viability by establishing a web of deeper relationships with potential commercial partners interested in finding ways to leverage each other platforms.