Discop Johannesburg recalibrates strategy for 2020 after lower attendance

MUMBAI: The eighth edition of Discop Johannesburg wrapped up last week with a lower attendance in comparison to last year – leading to some key changes in the 2020 edition.

976 delegates from 68 countries, down from 1155 delegates in 2018, attended the 3-day film, television, and digital content market and co-production forum, including 194 content buyers and 216 content producers from Africa, and 281 international content distributors.

As a result, organisers are moving forward with plans to hold the 3-day content market and co-production forum at the end of July. The next edition of Discop Johannesburg will be held from 29-31 July 2020 in precisely eight months from now.

In July, content buyers still have money to spend for the current year. Budgets are much tighter at the end of November and negotiations always slow down before the holiday season. October and November are also very busy months with Mipcom, Mip Cancun and the American Film Market pulling a lot of resources out of global content distributors,” said Discop president Patrick Zuchowicki.

Despite a difficult economic outlook and challenging market conditions, organizers are happy to report a boom in intraregional business signaling exciting new opportunities as content produced in Africa is increasingly headed to other countries on the continent.

In response to these important shifts, this change of dates will also bring Discop Abidjan (27 to 29 May) closer to Discop Johannesburg. Being held two months apart from each other, the proximity of the two events will help forge stronger ties between content producers, buyers, and sellers from Francophone and Anglophone Africa.

Organizers also reported a sidebar conference and workshop program featuring 30 sessions, most of them dedicated exclusively to content coproduction, monetization and distribution issues. 65 speakers shared the stage representing the likes of Netflix, The Africa Channel, Al Jazeera, the African Animation Network, and Agence France Presse.

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