Talpa Global’s Annelies Noest

Annelies Noest, the director of formats and global network at Talpa Global, talks to TV Formats about the trends she’s seeing in the marketplace at present and how Talpa is serving the demand.

The music competition The Voice has cemented its position as a global entertainment behemoth, and the success of the format has led Talpa to expand the flagship brand. The Voice Kids has taken off around the world, and now the company is introducing The Voice Senior. This type of big, bold, shiny-floor entertainment is a hallmark of what Talpa does best.

***Image***TV FORMATS: What types of formats have been selling best nowadays?
NOEST: When you look at what broadcasters really need, it’s schedule pillars. They are looking for those few big titles that can carry their schedule, notably for the fall and winter season. In that sense, we are happy to have The Voice and The Voice Kids. Now we have The Voice Senior, which is going to be a focus for us in the year to come. We want to expand The Voice brand with the Senior format, which is a shorter series of four to six episodes.

We are also getting a lot of traction on our new prime-time family show A Year to Remember. It is one of those typical family entertainment shows that is great for the weekend. It can be watched with the entire family. It has nostalgia, celebrities and a lot of humor—those ingredients always seem to work.

TV FORMATS: What is the strategy for building out The Voice franchise?
NOEST: We announced The Voice Senior last MIPCOM. It came about quite naturally. What we’ve seen in making The Voice, which has some 67 versions all over the world and we are always involved, is that there are so many beautiful stories. We felt that having seniors come to the stage will give the whole genre and brand a completely new feel. Rather than looking for a new pop star who can have a music career, this is about great characters who have a story to tell. They have already been to places, lived their lives and have all of this experience to share. Their stories can be so moving and fascinating. They’ve got nothing to lose! They just go out there and do their thing, and it’s great to see the interaction with the families and grandchildren. There is a different feel to the show. It will be very warm and could be a really nice surprise.

It starts in August in the Netherlands, and we’ll need to have a little patience for the results of it. I’m absolutely convinced that it will be successful.

TV FORMATS: Are you seeing more traction with scripted formats as of late?
NOEST: We are very successful with scripted in our home country of the Netherlands. Off the back of that, we are trying to bring some titles abroad. But it’s fair to say that our key focus is very much on non-scripted. We try to cherry-pick now and then, when something is really successful in the Netherlands, to see if we can bring that to other countries. It’s all Dutch-language product, which has a more difficult time traveling than other languages. We have had some success here and there.

TV FORMATS: What are you going to be focusing on in the coming months?
NOEST: We are strong in big content: shiny-floor, prime-time shows. Also, in terms of reality, we have something in development for the second half of the year that we have high expectations for. For MIPTV, we will be focusing on The Voice Senior and A Year to Remember and following up on the leads we have. Dance Dance Dance is still quite active. We recently did a deal in Thailand and are working on some other leads.