"The real question is not 'why Italy?', but 'why not before?'
This is how director Paul Johnson explains why the 44th edition of MIPTV has chosen to pay tribute to Italy.
"Italy is one of the main markets, in terms of participation, that attends MIPTV.
Moreover the international success of its cinema and TV production, as well as its' country's great directors and producers, represent a strategic importance for paying tribute as Italy is one of the top five countries in terms of global content distribution." Johnson adds that this important recognition for our country coincides with a delicate and - above all - a new chapter for Italian content owners and distributors.
In this context, which is the element that causes the most reflection?
The Italians are some of the best film-makers and creators of TV content in the world. Italy is amongst the top five nations that have had an extremely significant impact in terms of program exports worldwide. With four million subscribers to 3G mobile telephone services, Italy leads the European market for mobile TV subscriptions having achieved the highest rate of penetration in Europe. There is no doubt that - at this moment - Italy is also the old continent's most important mobile TV market. In just a short space of time, Italy has become the leader of the mobile TV revolution.
This means that operators in every other European country are looking at the Italian model in order to develop similarly successful strategies of consumption and distribution.
This does mean, however, that Italy is also a country where political and industrial debate about new technologies directly follows on from technological utilization ...
That is exactly why we choose to pay tribute to specific countries at MIPTV and MIPCOM. I think that to understand the entire perspective of a scenario, with all its characteristics and contradictions, is also the key to identifying the road to success. Japan and Korea aside, Italy is the number one country in terms of mobile TV content distribution. Europe and more specifically Italy is ahead of the United States with regard to the distribution of this type of content.
How did the international industry react to your decision to put the spotlight on Italy at the 2007 edition?
Very well: there is a lot of interest in Italy and its market which, from various points of view, represents a kind of case study. The country of honour status brings with it many opportunities. It helps place more focus on Italian productions and content at a busy market and help drive interest in what the many exhibitors are selling during their five days at MIPTV. It creates a foundation for new platforms to shine and to trade on their success. Many operators are curious to understand how they can adapt Italy's great success to their own situations, developing strategies based on the Italian best practices and experience.
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