The goldrush for exploitable IP continues to run hot in Asia, with producers mining non-traditional sources and existing libraries for overlooked titles.
Lim Teck, MD of Singapore production and distribution company Clover Films, revealed that he was working with national broadcaster Mediacorp to explore existing library IP from its dormant production shingle Raintree Pictures, an active player in the Asian co-production scene in the early 2000s.
Mediacorp also recently announced a public, open call for programming pitches, a rare departure from its usual commissioning practices.
“For the first time, we also opened it up not just to the regular production companies, but also to YouTube creators and new companies,” said Mediacorp’s Sapna Angural. “We don’t just produce content for TV anymore, it’s for YouTube, it’s for MEwatch (Mediacorp’s OTT platform), it’s for podcast.”
The company, which has itself recently taken to licensing its extensive library of television IP to China-based producers, received over 680 submissions from the open call.
Media executive Prem Kamath questioned the ability of independent producers to hold onto original IP, stating that ownership of IP was “sacrosanct” for major studios to sign on to co-productions, a view echoed by WarnerMedia’s Clement Schwebig who considered ownership of IP to be “at the heart of what we do.”
Anna Burdin, of Chinese OTT platform iQiyi, said that original IP, and its e-commerce potential, provided a bulwark against the problem of user retention, which she said kept her awake at night, a sign of the significant churn within a crowded streaming space.
Earlier this year, the Chinese platform’s “Apprentice”-style reality TV series, “Fourtry,” which follows influencers trying to open a store on screen, integrated its second season with the opening of an actual retail shop in Chengdu, China, blurring the boundaries of the on-and-off screen worlds.