Friday, November 6, 2015

Discop Africa founder Patrick Zuckowicki on Meet Your Stars: South African TV industry hasn't yet realised they need to showcase their content like Fashion Week.

Discop founder Patrick Zuchowicki on Friday at the close of Discop Africa 2015 said the South African television industry has so far failed to properly leverage the glamour part of its programming, talent and stars to get media exposure, to sell its programming to media influencers and to get more ad buyers interested.

The three-day Discop Africa 2015 concluded on Friday and for the first time ran a concurrent media event, Meet Your Stars, alongside the main TV market.

At Meet Your Stars some broadcasters and shows had a smattering of on-air and behind-the-scenes talent to do presentations and Q&A's upfront style with the media and influential journalists, in the way American and British television has been doing for a long time.

A lot of South African broadcasters, operators, channels and production houses don't see the importance of previewing their new shows and channel programming line-ups to the press.

Several, over years, remain notoriously uninformed and borderline incompetent when it comes to properly marketing and showcasing upcoming programming and TV content, and often don't know how to do it, or how to correctly engage with TV critics and the press covering their TV content.

Discop Africa is trying to help to change it by introducing Meet Your Stars and to create an opportunity and event where South African broadcasters can bring their talent to meet, talk and interact with the media so that press and ad buyers can get a better sense and see what their existing and new content is about.

"The television industry - the television content industry - meaning the selling and licensing of content is 65 years old. And the fashion industry is also about 60, 70 years old."

"Fashion Weeks exist for 20 years. It was created 20 years ago. Why? Because all of a sudden the fashion industry understood the glamour aspect of their industry," Patrick Zuchowicki said on  the [ED] (DStv 190) channel in a live broadcast on Friday afternoon.

"What we're trying humbly to do, is to do the same - to celebrate television content and to provide a 'fashion week' for new television shows and a new season."

"And to allow these influencers and ad air time buyers - those who have an impact on ratings, those who have an impact on air time purchase, to look at new shows."

"To have the opportunity to interact with the talent and to understand these shows better from the creators, and maybe use that information to influence the fate of those shows," said Patrick Zuchowicki.

"Today social media has a huge impact on how you consume television. Bringing the influencers in social media and bloggers is really what we're trying to do with Meet Your Stars," said Patrick Zuchowicki.

"We invited a lot of media, a lot of influencers - people who are also media buyers and media planners," said Lara Preston, from Red Flag and doing Discop publicity.

"Meet Your Stars was a very new concept and I think a lot of people wasn't sure of what it was."

"Overseas, especially in the United States it's a common practice to preview the next season's television shows and what they have planned, so that media buyers and media planners can plan and actually do their jobs."

"For some Meet Your Stars was a new concept. You really saw some of these 'aha' moments where they got it - sometime on Thursday," said Lara Preston.

"We've had a long, long conversation about Meet Your Stars, and we've decided that Africa and Johannesburg is the right place to start having this concept," said Vlad Borovina, relations manager and event organiser from Basic Lead.

"We've decided to bring it on the success of Discop Africa and to incorporate it as a programme within Discop Africa."

Parties for Discop Africa 2015 in Johannesburg included Viacom International Media Networks Africa (VIMN Africa), Trace TV in Africa had a cocktail party, and Endemol Shine South Africa and Paramount also had party events.