NEM 2018, an event dedicated to the television industry with an emphasis on the CEE region, was held last week from June 11 to 14 in Dubrovnik in the Dubrovnik Palace Hotel. For the sixth year in a row, NEM opened its doors to media experts and this year it gathered more than 800 participants, which marks a new record for attendance. With a little over 50 panelists, top professionals in the television industry who shared their experiences and knowledge with the audience and colleagues, this year's NEM attracted a variety of visitors from all over the world.
Hottest topics and emotional presentations
NEM 2018 will be remembered for its interesting panel discussions, such as “Pay TV: Keeping up with… The Digital Content Game”, where Salim Mukaddam, General Manager and Vice President of BBC Worldwide for CEE, stated that “people are platform-agnostic, wherever the content is, they’re going there”. NEM 2018’s focus on locally-produced content was once again confirmed by Katharina Behrends, NBCUniversal’s Managing Director for CEE, who pointed out that Pay TV should be adjusted to local communities.
One of the hottest topics out there, just a day before the start of the football World Cup, was a panel about the high prices of football rights, which are a result of a multitude of factors. Alex Pinheiro Rotter from Mediapro put it the following way: “Sports is the only property that can bring a lot of audience in a specific time slot, unlike any other property. Even though the interest is highest in the local league, the demand for premium international content, such as the UEFA Champions League and the Big Five, definitely exists.“
The two panels dedicated to local production showed us that local content seems to perform best with the audience for most of the FTAs. Henning Tewes, CEO of RTL Croatia, Matthias Settele, General Director of TV Markiza, Dražen Mavrić, Head of the Management Board at Nova TV, Gabriella Vidus, CEO of RTL Hungary, and Pete Smith, Managing Director of Antenna International, concluded that there is a need for quality screenwriters and that the main drawbacks of local production are its price and the risks that come out of it when discussing younger demographics and digital trends.
Discussing piracy in the region, Damir Novinić, Advisor to the General Manager of Croatian Radiotelevision, said we got ourselves to blame: “Piracy is growing because we are allowing it. We are very inert, very slow to react.” Damir Hajduk, Chairman of the Croatian Agency for Electronic Media, concluded “there is a culture of piracy we have to address”, agreeing with other panelists that enforcing cooperation between all stakeholders is a crucial step in addressing the problem of piracy.
One of the most interesting presentations was surely the one by Arash Pendari on applying AI in the TV industry. Unlike the traditional shallow metadata, Arash’s team at Vionlabs worked in a completely new direction using emotional audio data to provide an advanced user experience for the consumers with individualized content and AI-generated movie trailers.
Another look into the future was provided by LG Electronics which gave insight into a whole new era of television with a presentation by Gyorgy Takacs. The endless possibilities of this amazing TV as well as the best viewing experience make LG OLED TV the leader in premium technologies with ultimate picture quality, ultimate design, and smart artificial intelligence.
How to revamp a 130-year-old brand was a question answered by Christian Brent, SVP of Research & Strategy at National Geographic, in an amazing and emotional presentation.
Exclusive screenings were also part of NEM 2018 and, as every year, participants and guests could see new formats by renowned distribution companies (Global Agency, Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation, MGM, BBC Studios, Keshet International).
Abundant networking opportunities
Opportunities for networking and socializing were at every turn, with coffee breaks being sponsored by renowned companies such as Viacom, Comcast, A1 Broadcasting and Turkish Airlines. There were also wine tastings organized by Irdeto, as well as a fabulous Wine Tasting with Pickbox in cooperation with Jakovac Wines.
Nevertheless, true networking was happening at traditional NEM evening parties. The first day started with a wonderful sunset and welcome drink by NBCUniversal & Comcast, the second day was concluded with an exclusive party by NEM’s long-time sponsor Eutelsat at the Vala Beach of the Dubrovnik Palace Hotel, whereas FOX Networks Group took care of the exclusive ending of NEM 2018 at the Banje Beach Club in the old town of Dubrovnik.