Film distributor Miramax is considering Google TV and YouView as its next content partners, according to CEO Mike Lang.
Speaking to new media age at the MIPCOM conference in Cannes, Lang said Miramax is aiming to expand its digital distribution content partners and hopes to include Google TV.
“We’ve had lots of conversations with Google, not only about its TV platform but also YouTube and its Android platform,” he said. “It would be an incredible partner. It would bring significant scale and a great ad platform, and we like the idea of providing more free, ad-supported content on digital platforms.”
Lang also expressed interest in YouView as a content partner once it launches in the UK next year. “We’re very interested in all players out there and YouView is one of them,” he told new media age. “As long as it respects our content and we’re paid our fair share in licensing content, we’re very keen to work with them.”
He said Miramax’s digital strategy centres on exploiting the subscription model from existing partnerships with Netflix and Hulu around the world. “Every market in the world will have a Netflix or Hulu equivalent as well as the major broadcasters, and we want to offer them our content in ways which helps them compete,” he said. “We don’t view that as a threat but as an advantage.”
Lang also said Miramax is “bullish” when it comes to building its brand presence on social networks, such as Facebook, which he called a “valuable marketing and promotion platform”.
Its strategy includes building more targeted ad capability. “The idea of spending millions of dollars carpet bombing people through TV ads and billboards and not being sure who you are talking to and capturing doesn’t seem consistent with the way the rest of the market is going,” he said.
Speaking earlier at the conference, during the Media Mastermind keynote, Lang said the Miramax brand had been re-invigorated by the digital explosion. He likened the studio’s new identity to one more akin to Silicon Valley than to Hollywood.
“Miramax was a media company that was almost forgotten and the digital market wasn’t really exploited by its former owners,” he said.
The studio has put its weight behind leveraging its library of content, which includes films such as Pulp Fiction (pictured), onto digital platforms, having partnered with US streaming giant Netflix, aggregator Hulu and Facebook. “It’s a question of innovate or die,” he said.
Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos, who joined Lang in the keynote, said if people are given enough access and choice, they would rather pay for a service than illegally download content. “If you want to see what people really want, look at what they are stealing, but most consumers don’t want pirated content,” he said.
He added that TV and IP platforms are merging, with the result that TV buyers increasingly want digital rights. “This will only continue, so we must be careful not to overdo it and have all content available everywhere at once, but stagger it and be clever about catch-up windows.”