The conference “New Opportunities and New Business for the Audiovisual Content Sector”, organized by the ICDEA Foundation and at the Spanish Film Academy, attracted an extremely high level of attendance from the audiovisual sector as a whole. The main message, which the participants unanimously supported, is the potential and the determination of the entire Spanish audiovisual industry to play a leading role in the online content distribution market.
It will still be necessary to find a suitable legal framework and, at the same time, encourage a change of mentality, breaking away from expectations of “totally free” content, through sensitization and educational campaigns, in order to build a real business model for distribution of online content, and to adapt and develop the Internet advertising model in line with traditional media practices.
Enrique Cerezo, Chairman of EGEDA, wished to make it abundantly clear that the film industry is in no way against the Internet and reminded participants that the first legal viewing portals were set up by the industry itself.
He explained how attempts were being made to develop our activity in the context imposed by consumer demand and the new technologies, and expressed the opinion that, to achieve this, all the parties concerned (creators, consumers and technologists) would have to “pull together in the same direction”.
Pedro Pérez, Chairman of FAPAE, stressed the need to unite the efforts of content creators and technology creators in order not to lose the battle, and in this way end up having quality portals with superior content and good prices. If this can be achieved, he said, Internet will become an ally for all involved.
According to Mr. Pérez, 2011 will be the year the change in business model occurs, and he assured participants that Spain possesses sufficient technology to take the initiative and lead this platform; it will not be necessary to wait for someone from outside to come and impose their ideas and conditions. “We can do it if we stick together”, he concluded.
Alejandro Perales (Chairman of the Spanish Association of Communication Users) detailed the consumers’ demands: a wide choice, access to new content, accessibility (standardization of software and devices and terminals), security (as an opportunity and a competitive advantage for the legal portals over illegal ones) and flexibility in the system for accessing the content.
For his part, Pancho Casal (CEO of Continental Producciones and Vice-President of FAPAE) placed emphasis on internationalization of the audiovisual product being an excellent opportunity offered by the Internet, and also added that the Web is only part of the solution: “the future of cinema is not only on the Internet”.
Juan Carlos Tous, Founding Member of Filmin.es, focused once again on the fact that Internet is a reality in our society but not a reality in our business. In his view, the model should not have set rules; instead, the release dates in the different “windows” should be adapted to each product, as applicable. The industry’s bid is firm and daring, given that everyone is fully aware that it is impossible to stop the public from watching what it wants, when and how it wants.
Finally, Rafael Sánchez (Director of the Filmotech.com portal) explained how Internet has changed audiences and how audiovisual products will have to adjust to these new viewers. Finding a business model adjusted to users’ demands and at the same time sustainable for those investing capital in creating cultural content is the cornerstone which will support the industry. To achieve this, an awareness-raising campaign will be needed to uproot the “free viewing” culture and also a legislative framework allowing the development of the audiovisual business. In this way illegal consumption can be replaced by the legal model and a sustainable model be established.