SeriesMania Reveals Viewing Figures for First Digital-Only Festival

HBO
HBO comedy series 'Run' was set to have its world premiere at Series Mania 2020.

The French TV festival and market went online-only in the midst of the coronavirus shutdown.

SeriesMania is calling its first-ever virtual edition a "great success" after the French TV festival responded to the new coronavirus crisis by going online-only this year.

Instead of live festival screenings in the French city of Lille and industry events. such as its co-production pitching sessions and the Buyer's Showcase of upcoming projects, SeriesMania 2020 took place entirely on the company's digital platform from March 25 through April 7.

Organizers on Wednesday said some 1,500 users, of the 2,000 industry professionals registered at the time the regular event was canceled, took part in the online version of SeriesMania. Each user, on average, viewed 1.5 hours of content. The most active section was the Buyer's Showcase, where users viewed an average of seven episodes each, accounting for a cumulative 10,000 visits.

"We are very proud of the great success of our first Series Mania Digital Forum. This global crisis prompted us to adapt our digital strategy urgently and the result was very positive," said Laurence Herszberg, SeriesMania founder and general director.

Herszberg, however, acknowledged that the virtual festival was no substitute for the real thing as 1.5 hours of content per user might sound impressive, but it is far less than an in-person attendee would watch.

"Nothing can replace the energy of the event in Lille, which provides a unique meeting space where many face-to-face business exchanges and deals happen," Herszberg said. "In 2021, we will be sure to combine the two forms, digital and physical, to create an even bigger and better event in the years to come."