The IDFA VOD panel tackles the hybrid model

As the cinema markets find a more secure footing after nearly 18 months of shutdowns and start-ups – with the threat of new bottlenecks still present – industry professionals are now faced with a set of concerns quite different from those from last year: how to make the most of recent gains in VOD models while integrating them into more traditional frameworks?

Indeed, nowhere was the glaring difference between the distribution landscape of 2020 and that of 2021 more apparent than during a recent IDFA VOD panel that brought down the same participants from a similar targeted panel last year. , unless there was a big difference – this time everything except we were there in person.

“Last year we were all trying to understand technology,” said Eve Gabereau, CEO of Modern Films. “[Then,] it looks like everyone had a platform. Now we need to start standardizing it, [and asking different questions:] Who is it for? How to get there? What are their advantages? Right now we need to talk about marketing and give it real value.

The London-based production and distributor company has released more than 75 films through its PVOD platform and has also forged 100 virtual cinema partnerships. The director of the film noted that her company’s four music docs have met with particular success in the online market through exclusive and targeted partnerships with branded festivals like Glastonbury and Isle of Wight, a success on which she could then go. rely on subsequent theatrical releases of the titles.

Gabereau, citing these and other examples, stressed the importance of partnerships between cultural organizations and thematically connected businesses and brands when positioning future products.

Elissa Federoff, head of Neon’s cast, argued that more needed to be done. “Fluidity and flexibility” Think of theatrical windows. “No movie is one-size-fits-all,” Federoff said. “There are different audiences who want to see films in different ways, and there are different ways of capitalizing on our films.”

The US executive offered three different case studies of his company’s recent programming, citing “Pig”, “Titanium” and “In the Earth”. an example of the genre. “Flee” as a title that would need a longer theatrical window, and the upcoming release of Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s “Memoria” – which will only perform in one theater in one city at a time, “like a touring band” – as an extreme genre of the theatrical model.

“This film is not an online experience, and we did not make it available online,” Federoff. “We really ran out of theaters for the right kind of movie.”

Picl’s co-founder, Anke van Diejen, completed the panel by explaining the method of her business. The VOD service is a joint venture between exhibitor partners. It makes selected titles available for a short period of time, in order to fill in the gaps left by clients who still have an interest in the theatrical experience.

“These two models can coexist,” said van Diejen. “Maybe they can even become collaborative. [We need to start] compare the physical data of our partners to our online date, to see if there is anything like a hybrid consumer.

“My dream is that next year’s hybrid or in-line versions won’t be second best,” van Diejen added. “But can be recognized as a very good addition to what we have done before.”

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