CANNES, France, SANTA MONICA, Calif. and VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Oct. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- The demand for content is growing worldwide but the entertainment industry should consider new economic models and accommodate new business partners to deliver content to consumers in a changing marketplace, Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF) Co-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jon Feltheimer told executives gathered for the annual MIPCOM industry conference at the Palais des Festivals in Cannes, France, in his keynote address this afternoon.
"The demand is there, at record levels. The consumers are there, in record numbers. The content is available, in record supply. But what has changed... is the way people consume content," Mr. Feltheimer said in keynote remarks delivered as part of MIPCOM's Media Mastermind series of presentations.
Mr. Feltheimer noted that the demand for premium content continues to increase, saying that consumers "want their content when, where and how they want it, and the good news is they're willing to pay more for it if it's premium, if it's faster, sooner, more mobile or more transportable."
But he cautioned that "we need to create new relationships...with people who install telephone lines and build mobile networks, with people like billionaire Mark Zuckerberg, 26 years old, who connects millions of people through bits and bytes. And, when we speak to them, we need to monetize these relationships... and the problem is we don't know how."
Mr. Feltheimer cited the recent groundbreaking carriage agreement between Epix, the multiplatform channel partnership of Lionsgate, Viacom and MGM, and Netflix as an example of capitalizing on "our opportunity to layer our traditional partners with new partners to build new platforms, define new windows, establish more flexible pricing and ultimately create a win/win scenario for all."
"The Epix/Netflix deal reflects the premium value of our content in a digital world where content companies will have numerous alternatives to get their product to the consumer and to monetize it," he noted.
Mr. Feltheimer cited Lionsgate's recent partnership with media giant Televisa to launch Pantelion Films, targeting the 26 million Latino moviegoers in the U.S., and the Company's highly successful Tyler Perry films, TV shows and DVD's as examples of targeting the large niche audiences created by fragmentation within the digital marketplace.
"Consumers view content in large affinity groups or as part of large demographic niche audiences, and they now have multiple viewing choices under the same roof," he said. "Shows will be prized for the loyalty of their viewers and their ability to migrate to multiple platforms that generate extended revenue streams, not just their ability to reach tens of millions of eyeballs at a single sitting."
But his remarks stressed the continued importance of creating strong content to drive advances in technology, windows and platforms.
"For all the new formats in the world, all the new technologies delivering them and all the new markets for consuming them, our business is still built on stories and the best way to tell them," he concluded. "Even the state of the art in technology cannot make ordinary content extraordinary."
Mr. Feltheimer will be honored tonight with the Reed MIDEM organization's MIPCOM Personality of the Year Award during the annual MIPCOM Gala Dinner for his "achievements at Lionsgate in creating global hit TV programming and for being a leading visionary and architect of the TV and film industry throughout his career."
Mr. Feltheimer joins a select group of previous Personality of the Year honorees including CNN Founder Ted Turner, Viacom Chairman Sumner Redstone, CBS President and Chief Executive Officer Leslie Moonves, former Time Warner Chief Executive Officer Richard Parsons, MTV Networks Chairman and CEO Tom Freston, former News Corporation President and COO Peter Chernin, Gustavo Cisneros, Chairman and CEO of The Cisneros Group, Gerhard Zeiler, CEO of RTL Group and Canal Plus founder Andre Rousselet.
Lionsgate is the leading next generation studio with a strong and diversified presence in the production and distribution of motion pictures, television programming, home entertainment, family entertainment, channels, video-on-demand and digitally delivered content. The Company has built a strong television presence in production of prime time cable and broadcast network series, distribution and syndication of programming through Debmar-Mercury and an array of channel assets. Lionsgate currently has 15 shows on more than 10 networks spanning its prime time production, distribution and syndication businesses, including such critically-acclaimed hits as "Mad Men", "Weeds" and "Nurse Jackie" along with new series such as "Blue Mountain State" and "Running Wilde" and the syndication successes "Tyler Perry's House Of Payne", its spinoff "Meet The Browns", "The Wendy Williams Show" and the recently announced "Are We There Yet?".
Its feature film business has generated such recent hits as THE EXPENDABLES, which was #1 at the North American box office for two weeks this past summer, THE LAST EXORCISM, TYLER PERRY'S WHY DID I GET MARRIED TOO?, KICK ASS and the critically-acclaimed PRECIOUS, which won two Academy Awards(R). The Company's home entertainment business has grown to more than 7% market share and is an industry leader in box office-to-DVD revenue conversion rate. Lionsgate handles a prestigious and prolific library of approximately 12,000 motion picture and television titles that is an important source of recurring revenue and serves as the foundation for the growth of the Company's core businesses. The Lionsgate brand remains synonymous with original, daring, quality entertainment in markets around the world.