Nadav Palti, president and CEO of Dori Media Group, talks to World Screen about the demands of the current marketplace and how the company is meeting them.
With a strong back catalog, a string of recent hits and a bounty of projects in various stages of production, Dori Media Group has been in good standing to ride through the ups and downs of the last year. The format Power Couple has seen new sales and recommissions, the Israeli scripted series Dumb was recently picked up by WarnerMedia Latin America, and Apple TV+ launched the psychological thriller Losing Alice to a wide audience.
WS: What has been driving recent gains for Dori Media Group?
PALTI: Despite the pandemic, 2020 was a very good year for Dori Media, with success both in scripted and non-scripted. The success was a result of a combination of quick adaptation to the work processes of the unfamiliar situation and our quality, large library of content (existing and in the advanced stages of production) that we were able to offer our clients. In addition, there has been an increase in market demand.
WS: What are you hearing from your clients about their needs at this time?
PALTI: Clients are constantly looking for new content, during the pandemic, before and after. Due to the situation, and the fact that people are staying at home more, the viewing increased. Clients are looking for good, quality content that will interest viewers. At first, some of the clients were looking for content to escape the situation, but at all phases, the demand for high-quality, good content existed. In addition to the “regular” content, there is a certain interest in content that describes the period, the difficulties, the lockdowns and what people experienced. The pandemic, of course, influenced the content, but at the same time, viewers are interested in regular content to get away from the subject. Viewing also differs from one territory to another, according to the status of the virus condition at any stage in time.
Now, more than before, we see a return to normality. The demand for scripted content (and especially dramas) will continue growing. We will face a continuing increase in demand due to the increase of customers consuming more content, as well as the launching of new large platforms that need content. On top of the demand for scripted content, we see an increase in demand for non-scripted formats. Therefore, we developed the Dori Media Accelerator.
WS: Have you seen increased demand for some of your library titles?
PALTI: We see demand for recently launched content, content from the past few years and track-record content (from the older library). Clients are showing interest in all, and as a result, we closed different deals during the past few months, including titles from different years.
WS: With regard to scripted highlights, what are some of the titles and genres that have been performing best for Dori as of late?
PALTI: Losing Alice debuted on Apple TV+ on January 22. We did a multi-territory agreement with WarnerMedia for four different local-market remakes of the crime drama format Dumb in France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Spain. We sold the Israeli version of Dumb (all three seasons) to WarnerMedia LatAm. Netflix announced the beginning of the production of the Rebelde remake. Additionally, two titles, Normal and The New Black, are showing big interest and are in advanced processes and negotiations. In non-scripted, Power Couple continues to triumph in many territories, with new seasons and new territories.
WS: How has Dori’s production business fared?
PALTI: The virus caught Dori Media in a period of high production momentum, in Israel, LatAm and the U.S. Early-stage productions were stopped, and those in advanced postproduction stages continued. During this period, we took advantage of the time when shooting was not possible to progress feverishly in the preproduction and postproduction stages of different new high-end series. In September, under the regulations, we returned to shooting season two of the very successful comedy The New Black in Israel (where shooting has already finished). In LatAm, we are working on a couple of productions where we are currently at the end of the writing phase.
WS: What are your priorities for Dori Media Group in the months ahead?
PALTI: To continue productions (including the development of titles in Israel and worldwide), increase co-productions and continue selling our huge catalog.