Studio 100 Media Targets Asian Expansion

Martin Krieger, the head of global distribution at Studio 100 Media, shares with TV Kids his perspective on the company’s business in Asia ahead of ATF.

TV KIDS: What are the biggest shifts you’ve seen in your AsiaPac business over the last year?
KRIEGER: The main shift we notice is that the non-linear business on a territory level is increasing drastically with new platforms growing at quite an impressive pace. Nevertheless, TV remains our main focus for the first window. It continues to be the most important medium for establishing high awareness for a property and is thus still crucial, especially for our merchandising and licensing partners.

***Image***TV KIDS: What trends are you seeing in terms of what kids’ buyers want?
KRIEGER: We cover preschool up to preteen with our programs. For sure, as a European studio, animation programming in the English language is what sells best for us across Asia as this genre travels easily internationally. Live-action shows are often subjected to trends like fashion, music and stars—they always answer strongly to the zeitgeist, which might not be a global one but a local one, or even regional. For preschoolers, on the other hand, there has been and still is a high international demand for curriculum-based content, always in combination with fun and comedy elements. Buyers are looking for shows that have a central character and friends, portray positive role models and are filled with humor. For preschoolers and preteens alike, it is also always good to offer elements such as enchantment, adventure and action, which appeal to both girls and boys at the same time. In addition, and most definitely, any story has to contain positive values such as friendship, loyalty and honesty.

TV KIDS: What new opportunities are you finding with OTT/digital platforms in the region?
KRIEGER: As already mentioned we recognize that there is an increase in demand for VOD content, also on a territory level. We are trying out different ways of placing our content with non-linear platforms and are always taking specific market needs into consideration. Of course when selling a new show we are more careful, especially with regards to “free” VOD content. However, depending on the territory, even AVOD can co-exist with TV at the beginning of the life cycle without jeopardizing each other at all.

TV KIDS: Are you exploring co-pro opportunities within the region?
KRIEGER: Our two own animation studios, Flying Bark Productions, based in Sydney, and Studio 100 Animation, based in Paris, have been active and co-producing in the region for years. A large portion of our hit shows is born out of co-productions with partners across the Asia Pacific.

TV KIDS: What have been some of your strongest markets in the region, and where would you like to be doing more?
KRIEGER: In terms of sales, the most important territories are India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia and Singapore. However, it’s our policy to target all territories across the region. We put a lot of effort into dealing with broadcasters from smaller Asian countries as well. From a strategic point of view, we are looking increasingly into new possibilities with China—the Chinese market is both highly interesting and at the same time challenging.

TV KIDS: What are your expectations for your kids’ distribution business in AsiaPac over the next year?
KRIEGER: We look forward to maintaining and expanding the already fruitful and highly valued relationships that we have. We also hope to inspire new partners and buyers with our broad portfolio ranging from preschool to preteen shows.