Discop Africa opens its second media market in Nairobi with over 200 companies in attendance


Discop Africa is the major matchmaking and networking events centred on audiovisual content production, distribution and funding in Africa. The event is not only a media market but is also focused on intelligence dedicated to new television business opportunities. Discop 2 event in September is expected to gather about 300 participants from more than 200 companies. Sylvain Beletre of Balancing Act interviewed organising company Basic Lead’s team members.

Patrick Jucaud, General Manager of Basic Lead said: "In these challenging times for our industry, the inaugural DISCOP Africa edition that took place in Dakar this past February proved once again that face-to-face interaction is the best way to fuel television business in fast-developing marketplaces such as Sub-Saharan African.So far, we have more than 150 buyers and more than 100 sellers registered. Our mission is to bring together:

•International suppliers of film, finished programs, formats, packaged TV channels.

•Programming, acquisitions, coproduction and air-time sales executives representing TV stations, thematic channels, pay-tv operators and other audiovisual content distribution platforms.

•Audiovisual content producers.

•Advertisers and advertising agencies."

Since 1991, the Discop Organisation facilitates audiovisual content production, distribution and funding business in fast-growing countries through the organisation of periodical matchmaking and networking events targeting specific growing regions such as the Middle East, Central, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia. Africa is the latest region to be added to its roster.

"Business relationships and deals can't grow without quality face time opportunities, as often as possible," explains Ming Fen Lee, Head of Matchmaking Services at Basic Lead, "especially in a context of an event like Discop Africa where the vast majority of attendees meet each other for the first time".

However, a lot of preparation work and follow-up efforts are needed for these face-to-face interactions to finally convert them into signed deals."Following Dakar, the results of a survey commissioned internally showed that our clients needed to deploy more resources than average to follow-up on their Discop Africa leads," comments Patrick Jucaud, "and it also showed that they had less manpower to do this work because of budget cuts and lower revenues," adds Jucaud.

As an immediate response, a permanent support center was opened in Dakar to assist participants in their follow-up efforts after the market, and to gauge the interest of African TV Stations and Advertisers for programs before they are being brought to Discop Africa.

Erik Kampmann, Account Manager at Basic Lead, explains: "Africa is still an unknown field for a lot of our international clients. They may have succeeded in their home country and have exported their production in developed markets, but most of them have not yet considered Africa, because dealing with African TV Stations and Advertising Agencies usually takes a while and persistence is not always on everybody's agenda. This is why our job is also to provide our clients with less African experience with fair appreciations of their programs' potential before they commit any sort or marketing resources ».

Nils Jucaud, Head of Advertisers Relations for Africa at Basic Lead, adds: "An independent format producer without any distribution strategy in place for Africa may ask us to contact a few television stations and advertisers to get their feed-back on a game-show idea before bringing it to Discop Africa."