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Ignacio de Medina: “the operation of Amazon and MGM highlights the importance of IPs as assets".

In an interview with the VP of the Black Panther Group, Ignacio de Medina, granted to TodoTV, he talks about current trends in investment in entertainment and media. The Entertainment and Media sector is undergoing a great revolution in all aspects, but especially in terms of investments and the financial structuring of projects, as well as large acquisitions between companies. We do an insight of all this with Ignacio de Medina, businessman and Executive Producer of Black Panther Films, and an expert in investment operations and financing of the industry. How do you think the COVID19 health crisis is affecting negotiations in the industry? Fortunately, physical production is restarting at a good pace in much of the market. However, from my point of view, where the health crisis has had the most negative impact has been on the part of industry and business. Markets, which are to a large extent the engine of our industry, have not been able to take place in the traditional way. Some have known how to adapt very well to online, but it is inevitable that the whole essence of marketing will be lost, those market hall conversations that are the ones that come to close many deals. This only occurs in the physical editions. Hopefully, starting in September, we will be able to restart all of this. How do you see the current situation in the industry when it comes to closing co-productions? I think one of the reasons is the absence of face-to-face markets that I mentioned before, which means that co-production agreements are taking longer to close and materialize. Another reason for this are the great changes that the industry is undergoing, both at the market level, as well as in the companies themselves and even in key people in the industry. This situation generates great uncertainty, confusion and in the end I understand that studios and large companies try to produce in-house and go to the safe value, at least for the moment. On the contrary, I see great opportunities for independent producers and studios and small companies thanks to this changing situation. Many possibilities for strategic agreements have been opened, technology has increased conversations and channels of dialogue between both sides of the pond and, in a few months, territories that traditionally only large companies had access to have been unlocked for small companies. In short, new business opportunities for everyone.

Given the great situation of change in the current industry, how can investors be offered the security they ask for? Investors are also experiencing their peculiar situation of change. Markets have also been severely affected by COVID and investors have had their investments paralyzed during the toughest points of the pandemic. Now that we are coming out of the chaos, there is a great revolution among investors as they are looking for where to put the money that they have had stopped for almost 1 year. They have also seen that there are industries that better withstand cycles and global crisis situations, and one of them is ours, the Entertainment and Media industry. Investors know this, take note and look forward to investing in our sector. Another advantage is the large increase in interest in alternative and impact investments. Producers are capable of generating great social impact with the productions we build and there is also another opportunity for investors to enter. However, investors seek to find new investments but with safety, minimized risk and with a series of parameters that allow them to return to calm after the storm of the pandemic. Therefore, there is a great opportunity to attract investors to our industry, but we must know how to speak their language and raise investment opportunities in a structured way and appropriate to their needs.

In relation to the great movements that we live in these days of change, what do you think have been the main reasons why Amazon has bought MGM? If there is something that we can make clear, it is that the operation of Amazon and MGM highlights the great importance of IPs as investment assets. And this is a great value to offer potential investors. IPs are assets that, in the case of good IPs, find their greatest advantage and profitability in the long term, with multiple derivative business options. A well-built IP ends up becoming a brand. Of course, you have to work on a blockbuster strategy for the short-medium term, but you also have to complement it with a long-tail IP strategy.

How might Amazon's acquisition of MGM affect the industry? This is the first explicit acquisition of one of the industry's historic majors by a tech. And this acquisition responds to the need for content, for good content. We have the platform, the technology, the capital and the reach to the users, but we lack good content, among so many, to hook and differentiate ourselves. I think that was Amazon's thinking and their solution seems good to me. But it shows that, now more than ever, content is king. And that the market has perhaps focused too much on content to meet the specific demand, a blockbuster strategy, and has forgotten in the creation of audiovisual brands, IPs with long tail that allow them to make profitable their investments beyond the first 3 weeks premiere on their platforms. On the other hand, I believe that we have lived through times of great segmentation and dispersion in the industry that are going to cause just the opposite effect, a concentration and a large number of mergers and acquisitions that are to come. Without a doubt, we are facing a very exciting moment in the industry that we must know how to take advantage of.


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