Dori Media Accelerator Boosts Format Development

Givon Snir, head of content for Dori Media International, talks to TV Formats about the Dori Media Accelerator, which focuses on turning unrefined ideas into fully polished paper formats for the international market.

The first Accelerator round was launched in September 2020, with more than 150 creative teams from Israel submitting ideas and six projects with global commercial potential selected.

“The program was conceived to find a new way to bring new ideas to the screen,” says Snir. “We want to adopt a more fit-for-purpose model, borrowed from the high-tech industry, where the path to market for new ideas is far shorter.”

Snir adds that the market is facing changes and challenges, and the tendency is for producers to go after proven formulas. “Dori Media is seeing growing interest in innovation,” he says. “New players typically bring about disruption through technology. We remain a traditional low-tech industry, and we need to adopt development models that are well established in the high-tech space. There is no sense in creating content like we did 50 years ago, where experienced in-house staff develop high-end formats exclusively for prime-time slots. Here, we are presenting a minimum viable product to the market, where we then look for the right partner to co-develop the format to the next level, which will be tailored to any platform’s need.”

The aim of Dori Media’s Accelerator model is to enable young, non-mainstream producers and creators to bring their fresh ideas to the market. It was developed by Dr. Michal Ben-David, who also manages the creative process and the ongoing work with the teams. “The participants are all talented creators—15 people/6 teams—who do not necessarily belong to the mainstream TV industry, but rather were chosen due to the originality of their ideas, their high level of motivation and their strength when working as a team,” Snir explains. The creative teams work together as a peer review group, under the mentorship of Dori Media’s content, marketing and sales teams.

Snir says that the response to the 2020 edition was “amazing” and that the team had such a hard time choosing that the program featured six projects instead of the five originally planned. The initiative led to an online presentation, where buyers and creative executives could share their thoughts and establish interest levels. “We had planned for three guests to attend, but we ended up with six executives, platforms, broadcasters and production companies. The feedback received was valuable and inspiring, and partners appreciated the online nature of the event, which enabled a unique dialog that is rare even in the big physical market events.” He adds that the main challenge was to coordinate the time zones from L.A. to Tel Aviv, Mexico, London, Moscow and Singapore.

Dori Media is in the midst of launching its second Accelerator, focused on the non-scripted genre. “We are still considering whether to keep it in Israel or expand internationally with the right partners,” Snir says.

Programs such as the Dori Media Accelerator are valuable to the international TV landscape and to the company’s format business, he adds. “There is a need for change and disruption on the content side of the market; we have already seen it happen on the business side, where there is more openness and creative thinking when it comes to formulating business models.

“The roles of broadcasters and production companies need to evolve and expand if they are to survive. To that end, there is room for a greater number of partnerships and collaboration. For Dori Media, this project reflects the unique way we create dialogue in an interconnected manner across our salesforce, management team, legal staff and the production team. This enables us to involve all parties in our development process in a new and engaging way to help creators bring their ideas to market in the best way possible.”