Driven by the tastes, expectations and usage patterns of an extremely young demographic, innovative business models and rapidly rising consumer adoption of pay and satellite television, the African marketplace is now worth half a billion dollars in annual TV content wholesale sales – double the figure from 2010 – says DISCOP Africa, home to where 95% of these sales are initiated and/or are concluded, and continental Africa’s only international Film, TV content, adaptation rights and packaged channel market.
In its 9th edition, which kicks off today at the Sandton Convention Center in Johannesburg, South Africa, DISCOP Africa is an annual, 3-day, tradeshow that brings together buyers, sellers and producers of televised entertainment content, seeking to do business across Africa.
Investors looking to fund projects and services in TV content delivery and management solutions are increasingly taking part in DISCOP Africa, and are equally interested in the wide range of challenges and opportunities brought forth by Africa’s ongoing digital switchover.
This year’s edition of DISCOP Africa will take place from November 5th, to the 7th.
In addition to 250+ individual exhibitors and national pavilions, the market will also include an agenda featuring:
– A special spotlight on Ivory Coast, DISCOP Africa’s 2014 Guest Country, in a drive to highlight the fast-growing importance of Africa’s French-speaking TV content production and distribution industries.
– The third edition of the DISCOPRO program a pitching, mentoring and market access forum helping independent producers carry their projects to full completion.
– “20 YEARS OF TELEVISION IN AFRICA: WHAT’S NEXT” a two-day summit that will examine the challenges to develop a sustainable and homegrown digital television ecosystem that can also serve as a role model for the rest of the continent.
2000+ exhibiting and non-exhibiting delegates from 70 countries are expected to attend, representing 1000+ companies that drive television business and digital changes in Africa (including the largest contingent ever of producers and distributors of content created in Africa).
Last year, organizers of the event reported a significant 18% increase in attendance over the previous year’s edition, as delegates representing 670 companies attended DISCOP Africa 2013, including more than 300 TV Stations and Pay-TV platforms present at the market to acquire content, while a conference agenda took place featuring a diverse mix of national and international speakers.
Distributors reported a host of significant deals, including a landmark agreement between DIFFA (International Distribution of Films and Fiction from Africa) with South Africa’s M-Net, which will see the first ever Francophone series produced in Africa, "Les rois de Ségou" ("The Kings of Ségou") from Mali’s Brico Films, broadcasting on an English-speaking network.
The DISCOPRO conference agenda placed producers and co-production opportunities at the center of the discussion, with "The Format People’s Pitching Competition" announcing winners across 3 categories. The "Formats" category was won by Kaye Ann Williams from Penguin Films for her project "The Hook Up" (South Africa); ‘TV Series’ by Marie Lora-Mungai from Buni Media / Buni TV with her animated series "Once Upon a Time in Africa" (Kenya); and ‘Documentary’ by Wairuri Njeru from Tattuah Films with her project "Ex Generation" (Kenya).
A Gala Dinner celebrated the market’s Guest Country, which was Nigeria. Sponsored by Canal+. The event saw stars from Nigeria’s hugely successful entertainment industry honored, including actor, director and producer Zack Orji and renowned talk show hostess, media personality and producer Mo Abudu.
Further highlights included an opening address by South Africa’s Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile, in which he stated, “DISCOP Africa… takes place at a time when our continent is increasingly being viewed as the continent of hope, the continent of the future and a new growth frontier. We have no doubt, therefore, that emerging out of this gathering will be effective partnerships and programs aimed at accelerating the growth of film and TV production across the African Continent.”
Patrick Jucaud-Zuchowicki, General Manager of Basic Lead, the company that organizes DISCOP Africa, added, "The growth of Africa’s content industry and its role in the international marketplace continues to accelerate and DISCOP Africa is now firmly established as the must-attend event in this region."
We’ll bring you coverage of the event as we receive it.
In the meantime, visit http://discopafrica.com/ for more info.