Now entering its 19th year, the global market and conference for the unscripted and non-fiction entertainment business kicks off on Monday, January 23rd. We chatted with NPA Executive Committee member Jenny Daly of T Group Productions to hear about this year’s summit from her perspective.
It’s no secret by now that the industry is going through rapid changes. New technologies, social media, and evolving viewing habits are putting the current model under increasing pressure. Falling ratings are causing many nets to re-evaluate their unscripted strategies. In turn, Daly says that many producers are coming into Realscreen “curious to hear how the networks are looking at content and how they are purchasing.”
It’s a topic that’s bound to dominate a good part of the summit. “Under Pressure: The State of the Unscripted Nation,” a featured panel on Monday at 5:00 PM, and including the NPA’s John Ford, will examine the current state of the producer/network relationship, what works well and what could be improved from both perspectives, and discussing possible solutions. Other panelists include Tom Forman (Critical Content), David Lyle (PactUS), Gena McCarthy (A+E), Allison Page (Scripps), and Lisa Williams-Fauntroy (Discovery) and features Cynthia Littleton as moderator. See full details below.
Overall, the summit most likely won’t be too different from years past. One downside, according to Daly, is that many higher-level network execs aren’t attending this year, which Daly says “is disappointing.” However, she stresses that the summit is still beneficial. Not only is it good for those new to the business “to go to the seminars to learn… how best to get your content sold,” it’s also one of the few venues that brings people from all aspects of the unscripted industry together. “The biggest benefit is getting all of us who are in this business under one roof at the same time to connect and uniformly express how our business is working or not working, and as a group look for solutions to make a successful future.”