Coming back for its fifth edition, Merging Media  is proud to announce the launch of Merging Media 5 Market & Talks, a two day event comprising a marketplace for digital content and a series of speaker talks focused on the business of digital online programming. Co-produced by Merging Media Productions and the Canadian Media Production Association (CMPA), this event is Canada’s only marketplace devoted entirely to digital content and will provide direct access to decision makers, commissioners and buyers in a one-on-one or group setting.
Merging Media 5 Market & Talks is for media professionals looking to understand more about the business of digital content, learn about industry trends, develop their projects, discuss funding, and close deals. Throughout the two days there are several networking opportunities for delegates to build contacts and establish partnerships with professionals across the industry, including content creators, funders, broadcasters, marketing executives and commissioners.
“Adapting to the wants and needs of our rapidly evolving media industry, Merging Media aims to provide tangible opportunities for digital creators that can translate into meaningful business relationships,” explains Christine Lim-Labossière, CEO/Founder of Merging Media Productions Inc and the Executive Director of Merging Media 5. “Our marketplace will allow buyers to indicate what they are looking to acquire or commission and for members of our media community to ask their looming questions, network with potential partners, build contacts and close deals.”
The conference also boasts of key players from across the industry including YouTube, Sony Pictures TV, BBC Worldwide, MediaCom, Xbox, Starz Digital, FremantleMedia, and SundanceTV, who will speak on topics such as the current state of the media industry, the latest business models, internet TV strategies, integrating brands into entertainment strategies, as well as content monetization, financing and distribution. With over 30 buyers and industry experts engaged to speak at the event, highlights will include:
- Robert Tercek – President, Milestone Entertainment
- David Katz – VP, Starz Digital Media
- Hayley Dickson – VP TV Acquisitions and Development, FremantleMedia North America
- Drew Pisarra – VP Digital and Marketing, SundanceTV
- Viki Alincy – Chief Marketing Officer, MediaCom
- Elan Lee – Chief Design Officer, Xbox Entertainment Studios
- Joerg Bachmaier – EVP International Production, BBC Worldwide
- Dave Brown – Manager Strategic Partnerships, TV/Film, YouTube
- John Orlando – EVP Digital Networks/GM Crackle (Sony Pictures Television)
- Daniel Kopec – Development Director, MSN Video and Entertainment
- Bill Lundy – Comedy Production Executive, CTV Extend
- Valerie Creighton – President and CEO, Canada Media Fund
- Andra Sheffer – Executive Director, Bell Broadcast and New Media Fund/Independent Production Fund
- Elizabeth Friesen, Executive Director, Telus Fund
“Given that the priority focus of this event is on the business of digital, we hope to grow our event into an important hub for the cultivation of business relationships that can flourish into future creative projects for our members and the industry at large,” explains Liz Shorten, Managing Vice-President for the Canadian Media Production Association B.C. Producers’ Branch (CMPA-BC).
As a precursor to the main event, on November 12-13, CMPA and Merging Media Productions will be co-hosting The Digital Extensions Story Lab conducted by SundanceTV and storycentralLabs. Here teams will compete to develop a digital companion campaign to a TV series around a SundanceTV brief with specific commercial deliverables that embrace both discoverability, monetization and sustainable strategies. The top 3 teams will then pitch on the second day of Merging Media 5 to a jury of international experts on the Vancity Theatre stage. The winning team will have the opportunity to sit down with the expert mentors, including Drew Pisarra, VP of Digital and Marketing at SundanceTV and Alison Norrington of storycentralLabs, to discuss further development of their prototype.
Merging Media 5 Market & Talks will take place on November 13-14 at the Vancity Theatre, Vancouver International Film Centre in the heart of downtown Vancouver; while the Digital Extensions Story Lab, conducted by SundanceTV and storycentralLabs, will be held on November 12-13 at the Georgian Court Hotel. Registration information for Merging Media 5 Market & Talks and the Digital Extensions Story Lab are available online .