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C21Marketplace

Mediatoon Distribution

Campaign Profile

Mediatoon thrives in challenging landscape

03-06-2024

Mediatoon Distribution’s head of sales Frédéric Gentet and digital distribution manager Alexandre Neck explain how the Paris-based international animation company is thriving in the current economic landscape, the role of IP in its catalogue and what new shows it’s bringing to market this year.

 

How is Mediatoon tackling the financial challenges facing the animation sector?
Frédéric Gentet: Adapting economically without neglecting the quality of the programmes we offer is both a challenge and a commitment. In this context, Mediatoon Distribution focuses on securing premium titles from Ellipse Animation and Belvision Studios, both part of the Media Participations group to which we all belong.

 

These strategic internal alliances enable Mediatoon to be involved upstream in the adaptation of IPs and original creations, and thus to be more responsive to market expectations. In addition, the sales team works closely with Mediatoon Distribution’s digital department to optimise the exploitation of streaming content, as it is becoming more and more challenging to obtain a linear second window than it was just a few years ago.

 

Fredric Gentet
Fredric Gentet, Mediatoon

Alexandre Neck: Digital distribution is a key part of our diversification strategy and this helps tackle the various changes in the animation industry. Our goal is to reach the audiences wherever they are.

 

We have therefore developed a strong expertise in digital direct distribution, with a dedicated team and a software (developed by our lab VDM) to optimise our content for YouTube and be able to maintain a high pace of weekly uploads. We are currently gathering more than a billion annual views on social media and more than eight million subscribers, working together with our sister companies and external producers.

 

Alexandre Neck
Alexandre Neck, Mediatoon

Since digital distribution plays such an important role in your strategy, what changes in digital consumption have most impacted the business?
Alexandre Neck: In the past decade, growth in digital was led by SVoD platforms; things have changed a lot and AVoD will have the biggest growth in the years to come. Also, recently, new opportunities on digital have popped up, especially FAST channels. We have launched two FAST channels on the French market – Jellyton and ADN – and we are very happy to experiment with this new model. Also, we have seen the boom of shortform video consumption. For instance, YouTube Shorts now drives huge traffic to our channels, whether it is kids or young adults.

 

The Marsupilamis
The Marsupilamis

With the industry focus returning to known IPs, what role do library titles play in Mediatoon’s catalogue?
Frédéric Gentet: The market is increasingly looking for ‘safe bet’ brands, particularly to respond to licensing needs, while at the same time looking for creativity. The best solutions to these needs are well-established IPs. Mediatoon Distribution has always worked in this direction, as we have popular and timeless titles such as Garfield, which has been revisited through various adaptations in recent years and is currently a box-office hit in cinemas. Then there’s The Marsupilamis, which will soon be back on the market with a kids’ 3D series that promises huge licensing and digital distribution potential.

 

Alexandre Neck: Every day we see the role of digital distribution expanding and consolidating the brand awareness of our library titles. The preschool hit Trotro is a valuable example. It’s a 20-year-old show that keeps reaching millions of viewers on YouTube because we keep fueling the channels on a weekly basis. Maintaining this strong brand awareness and all the data involved with digital distribution also enabled Ellipse Animation to start developing a spin-off from the show.

 

“SamSam:
SamSam: Cosmic Adventures

Annecy is just around the corner. What new shows and projects are coming down the line that you’re particularly focused on?
Frédéric Gentet: In the same spirit of working on well-known IPs, we recently launched a new adaptation of the cosmic superhero SamSam. After a first series and then a film, the IP returns in a new format, with more developed stories to appeal to an upper preschool audience. The programme has received very positive feedback on France Televisions, and it has already been sold into Canada, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Poland, the Middle East, Switzerland, Belgium and many other territories.

 

Furthermore, we have just added to our line-up a new feature film adapted from one of our popular series: Martin Morning. After four seasons, this IP has been turned into a family animated film that retains the series’ theme of uncontrollable, comic metamorphoses. The main character must solve a mystery on a discovery adventure in China.

 

Zoobox
Zoobox

Alexandre Neck: Furthermore, we’ve started working increasingly as a YouTube aggregator with external producers such as Bayard to develop their digital presence, using the technology we have developed with VDM to optimise content for YouTube. We are excited to expand and grow this area of the business and Annecy will be the perfect occasion to meet other potential partners. We are also closely collaborating with ADN – Animation Digital Network – by managing their YouTube and FAST channels for the French market. ADN is another sister company of Mediatoon and we are happy to build this synergy within the group.