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South Africa

DISCOP Johannesburg recalibrates as African marketplace evolves

The eighth edition of DISCOP Johannesburg wrapped up last week with a lower attendance in comparison to last year.

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 to 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,” says Patrick Zuchowicki, President of DISCOP. He adds, “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.”

Despite a difficult economic outlook and challenging market conditions, organisers are happy to report a boom in intra-regional 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.

Organisers also reported a well-attended sidebar conference and workshop programme featuring 30 sessions, most of them dedicated exclusively to content co-production, monetisation and distribution issues. 65 speakers shared the stage representing the likes of Netflix, The Africa Channel, Al Jazeera, the African Animation Network, Agence France Presse, Warner Media, Icon Comics, Kana TV, Cote Ouest, Vubiquity, SABC, Rapid Blue, GRB Entertainment, Afrikatoon, Multichoice, Euronews/Africanews, IDC, Zee Entertainment, WeWork, AAA Entertainment, Known Associates Entertainment, Voice of America, Twentieth Century Fox Television Studios, ITV, Discovery, etc.

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