As CEO of Endemol, Spee oversees a global business dedicated to creating, producing and exploiting on-screen entertainment in all genres, scripted and non-scripted, on all platforms, and watched by millions around the globe every day. Prior to becoming CEO in April 2012, Spee was Endemol’s CFO for a period of two years
What changes have you seen in the industry in the two years since you took over the reins at Endemol?
One of the most striking things in the last two years has been the speed at which audiences have been adopting new technologies. The growth and impact of digital video, social media and online players such as Netflix has been particularly significant — and all are engaging audiences in new ways. We’re hearing less talk of the demise of traditional television. Its strength as a mass medium remains and that doesn’t look set to change for the foreseeable future.
How important would you say social media has become to the development of television programming in general?
Social media offers fantastic opportunities for innovation and is increasingly becoming an integral part of the entertainment mix. That said, it’s still in relatively early days and I think most would agree we have yet to see its full potential for content creators and distributors.
What are the difficulties inherent in making truly transmedia programming?
On the one hand the basic principles of great content are the same whatever platform it sits on. On the other hand, there are challenges and opportunities that can vary according to the type of content you are making.
Is there room for both traditional broadcast and OTT in the world’s living rooms, or does something have to give?
For now I believe there is room for both. But in the longer term I think those that fail to offer viewers content on demand and on multiple platforms will increasingly struggle to compete.
Do you think we have a truly global market for television formats nowadays, or is a degree of localisation still necessary?
Of course we have a global market but the fact remains that before a format can achieve international success it must first become a local hit. So our creatives in each territory always aim to develop ideas that will work for the broadcasters in that market.
Endemol prides itself in the fact that if one of our shows takes off in one market, we can have it shared across our network and being pitched to broadcasters around the world within a week.
Just Spee is speaking at the IBC Leaders' Summit.