Endeavor Content's Head of TV Advisory Talks Apple, Media Consolidation

Aimee Spinks/BBCAmerica
Endeavor Content's 'Killing Eve'

Lorenzo De Maio said that producers have huge opportunities, but indies must scale up.

There's no pause button on the rapidly changing TV business, Endeavor Content's head of TV advisory Lorenzo De Maio said Wednesday at France's Series Mania as he spoke on the latest industry trends.

“Change is happening in real time,” he added. Media consolidation marked by big mergers such as Comcast and Sky, as well as the pending launches of new global streamers, are shifting the business and, despite analyst predictions, no one can really be sure what the landscape will look like in a few years, the exec argued.

“The truth is everyone has to buckle in and get ready for massive change,” said De Maio.

Producers have the most to gain as hungry streamers need more and more content to feed their growing services, he asserted, adding that the kind of all-rights deals SVODs take now will no longer be the standard as it becomes more of a sellers' market. Producers will be able to be more selective about who they work with and craft the long-term plans for IP.

But De Maio warned that market consolidation is coming on the creative side, too. “There will be a separation in the marketplace between certain companies which can keep up and get multiple commissions in multiple years and really create a sustainable model,” he said. SVOD companies are becoming more selective and no longer want to work with a large number of small production companies at any one time: “They will look to trusted partners that they feel can guarantee the kind of output that can sustain their platforms.”

Though Apple's big TV news is the talk of Series Mania, De Maio said it is just one of many to come, which will again increase opportunities for creatives. “They need to quadruple their output very, very quickly,” the exec said, calling the new single-brand streamers "walled gardens." He explained, “They can't just live off of catalog alone.”

The SVODs will need to develop local content with local actors, since both the days of the big Hollywood star and the forcing together of a European mix are over, De Maio added: “The good old 'Let's add a German element, a French element and a British element' — that's gone, thankfully.”

Apple's new service wasn't news for De Maio, who said Endeavor Content had already sold shows to the soon-to-be streamer ahead of the announcement. The company also recently sold an unnamed foreign co-production budgeted at $1 million an episode to the U.S. with multiple bidders. “It has a really unique voice, a really strong female voice and spoke to younger audiences,” he said.