Albatross Amps Up Its Acquisitions Strategy
By Chelsea Regan
Ramifications of curtailed travel plans, lockdowns and remote work and schooling, combined with the proliferation of streaming platforms around the world, have created a boom in demand for factual programs—particularly those in the travel and science genres. Natural-history documentaries are also in high demand, but that’s par for the course, according to Anne Olzmann, managing director of Albatross World Sales. “Natural history, of course, always works well, but we noticed an increased interest in travel content in the last few months,” Olzmann tells TV Real Weekly. “More and more viewers seem to be wanting to escape their own country via the screen.”
Olzmann points to Jewels of the Alps and Cities by the Sea as two titles that are seeing particular success at the moment. She also notes that the current state of the factual content industry holds plenty of opportunity for back-catalog programs as well. “With the appearance of more and more streamers, we're not only pushing our most recent titles, but can also rely on sales of our catalog and extend the shelf-life of our favorite titles that have been shopped around with broadcasters and now get a second or third life,” says Olzmann.
The recent growth in AVOD platforms and affiliated FAST channels, which shows no signs of slowing, is already having an impact on the international media industry, according to Olzmann. “Viewers seem to be flocking to well-produced informational content more and more, which is why VOD platforms, especially, stacked up their documentary slates during the past year,” she explains. “It’s going to be interesting to see where this development [in AVOD and FAST services] leads. It’s great for our older titles because they're getting a longer shelf life now.”
As the TV industry sees the continued expansion of streamers, Albatross is expanding its acquisitions strategy. The company had previously mostly taken on fully financed projects, but has recently shifted its focus to include projects that are in the earlier stages of production. “After more than ten years in the documentary sphere, we are proud to have a substantial network of producers working with us and trusting us with their new productions,” says Olzmann. “We want to use our experience and market insight to get exciting productions off the ground and get them ready for the international market.”
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