In his MIPCOM keynote Tuesday, Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer addressed the issues raised by the dramatic changes currently shaking the world of content to it foundations.
Identifying some key rules for success, he emphasized the importance of choosing solid, reliable partners, illustrating this point pointing to Epix, Lionsgate’s new pay venture with Viacom, Paramount and MGM – profitable just ten months from launch.
Also illustrative of this approach is last month’s launch of Pantelion Films in which Lionsgate is partnered with Televisa with the aim of producing between eight to ten movies a year, in English and Spanish to serve the twenty-six million US Latino movie goers who between them account for more than a quarter of America’s frequent moviegoers.
These joint venture sit alongside the recently announced Tiger Gate formed with Haim Saban and aimed at the Asian Pay TV market, since, as Felthemer pointed out, Lionsgate generates just 1% of its annual $2 billion income from this region which accounts for half the world’s population.
The Epix joint venture is also illustrative of his second rule – premium content carries premium prices. As further illustration of this Feltheimer pointed out that, while last year US cable subscriber numbers fell slightly, DirecTV reported a profit jump of 33%, due, in no small part, to its NFL Sunday Ticket, whose subscriber base grew to 2 million – all paying US$320 a year.
But Feltheimer also stressed that in today’s world, success has to be a long term strategy, claiming, “our success is founded on renewable content, resilient business models, and reliable consumer appetite for content that allow us to exchange lower multiple license fee revenue for much higher multiple equity value.”