top of page

What International Buyers Look for in Content

Many platforms and channels around the world are constantly looking for content to acquire.

Some prefer content that caters to a niche audience while some aim at acquiring content that's more popular and general in nature.

A number of content acquisition heads of region-specific, as well as mainstream channels, share what kind of content they look to acquire and what catches their attention, while also shedding light on what kind of sales pitches impresses (and eventually persuades) them the most.

Sven Van lokeren, Buyer Fiction Series at VRT, Belgium:

What type of projects/programs are you looking for?

A wide variety of shows, from more broad UK crime series to high-end, edgy thrillers and must-see international content with high talk-value. Any in-built marketability that a drama can offer, a well-known cast, high caliber writing talent, etc. is going to increase its appeal for us.

What kinds of sales pitches do you respond best to?

Combination of basic info (format, volume, availability, producers, commissioning broadcaster, etc) with short pitch plus main storyline and trailer.

Janaina Tadeu, Head Of Acquisitions And Coproductions at Arte1, Brazil:

What is your editorial strategy?

The Arte1 channel offers 24 hours of programming completely dedicated to the art universe. Our mission is to contribute to the development of an audience interested in knowing more about visual arts, photography, architecture, design, dance, classical music, fashion design, literature, theater, and art cinema. In our programming grid, the audience can find documentaries, series, movies, and performing arts.

What type of projects/programs are you looking for?

We are looking for sophisticated productions. Our main request is that all the themes of the programs need to be related to art topics. We have slots for documentaries (one-off)/ docu-series with episodes of 26’ or 52’/ concerts from classical to modern music/ballet performances from classical to contemporary style / awarded and independent art movies.

For this year, we are focused on acquiring documentaries from all the main arts subjects.

Jenna Bourdeau, Senior Director, Acquisitions at CBC, Canada:

What is your editorial strategy?

As Canada’s national public broadcaster, CBC offers a wide array of content to audiences via linear and digital platforms in nearly every genre - kids, news, sports, documentary, unscripted and scripted. CBC’s schedule is anchored by award-winning, critically acclaimed original Canadian dramas and comedies (Schitt’s Creek, Coroner, Workin’ Moms). In terms of acquired content, we look for leading scripted programming (drama and comedy) that can hold its own alongside such premium originals. The current growth area for acquisition opportunities is currently for our streaming service CBC Gem, which offers Canadians a free and subscription option to streaming service which offers an array of domestic and international content.

Our focus for Gem acquisitions includes high-impact content of all genres specifically drama, comedy, unscripted, documentary, preferably catering to 40 yr and under demographic.