In few days, 14-16 June, the New European Market will take place in Dubrovnik, Croatia. The event become more and more popular, famous European media companies are coming there to exchange their experience and make new contacts. Mediasat is a media partner of NEM this year. For you to know more about the exciting event here is an interview with Sanja Božić – Ljubičić, NEM’s CEO.
The fourth edition of NEM is right ahead of us. How do you see the future development of the New Europe Market?
I am very happy with how things are going. As I always say, a project like this needs three to five years for it to be recognized. And here we are with the fourth edition being right ahead of us with a response as big as ever. There are more companies and participants than ever before and what makes me very happy is the fact that there are more companies from Central and Eastern Europe, regions that NEM has its focus on.
What would you say was the key factor for them to participate?
One of the reasons must be the major Hollywood studio screenings, which we’ve managed organize only a couple of weeks after their premiere in Los Angeles. That means that, in some cases, NEM is the first event to show content of the upcoming television season. According to feedback information, we’ve also learned that NEM’s reputation of doing good business has spread far and wide: the participant companies are satisfied with how business is done under much more relaxed circumstances than at other markets, and the results are evident.
What are the highlights of this year’s NEM program?
Again, I would highlight the Croation and regional production. We’ve got a special slot for the international premiere of „The Paper“, Dalibor Matanić’s very first TV-show, as well as an interview with the crew of „Houston, We Have a Problem“, HBO Adria’s first co-production. One of NEM’s main postulates is that we’ve got a lot to offer in this region and it’s time to prove that to the world. NEM is the perfect setting for such exclusives and potential business opportunities that might emerge.
I would also like to emphasize the participation of IT and ICT companies as well as the introduction of a Croatian startup.
You are also the head of „Pickbox“, a regional SVOD service which exists for more than two years now. What can you say about the development of this project?
Our user base is constantly growing. Apart from our standalone service, I’d like to emphasize the fact that we are partners with most operating companies in every region where Pickbox is available; that is in Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Hercegovina, Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia. We are pleased with the fact that they recognized the value of this service as well as the fact that Pickbox is available on their platforms.
Are you happy with the rate of Pickbox’s growth? What do you consider to be the biggest problem?
Of course I would prefer us being better off than we are now, who wouldn’t? One of the key issues is how people perceive the online market. It’s not just the fact that a large number of users think that everything on the Internet is free, it’s also that our legal mechanisms aren’t regulated enough in order to be able to protect the rights of producers and distributors of video content. That’s an issue we have to discuss urgently, here in Croatia. Service provider representatives and legislators should meet and try to clean up this current chaotic situation as soon as possible.
What are your plans for NEM? And Pickbox?
By no means do we intend to relax, not in any of the two projects. As far as NEM goes, the fact that everything regarding this year’s event looks pretty good at the moment, that doesn’t mean we should copy it in 2017. There’s always space for improvement, as well as new ideas. We’ll see what we can do in order to become even more appealing.
The same goes for Pickbox: we’re still thinking of expanding outside of this region, so we’ll have to see what our possibilities are. We are constantly working on providing our users with a wide variety of content as well as being up to date when it comes to the technology required to make the service available to as many people as possible. The most important thing is not to stagnate.