Futur et Médias Podcast E06 – MUBI: Films First, Data Second

Chances are your video streaming platform of choice keeps tabs on your viewing habits, including your favourite genres, actors, and directors (and plenty of other things, too) in an attempt to serve you up more of what you like. And while many OTT services do tend to typecast subscribers this way, there are others who let you see things differently. MUBI Director of International Programming, Anaïs Lebrun, shares her thoughts on the subject with Catherine Mathys.

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For MUBI, great cinema beats personalization

Data-driven SVoD platforms that serve up suggestions based on personal preferences and past consumption often trap subscribers into self-fulfilling feedback loops. If you’re a fan of action films set in dystopian futures, you’re likely to see more of that on the menu. Ditto for thrillers with female leads.

The problem with overindulging in your favourite genres is that you can miss opportunities to discover great works you didn’t even know you’d like, with actors you never saw before, by directors you never heard of.

Yes, data is a big advantage in our digital world, and especially in the audiovisual sector. But UK-based streamer MUBI begs to differ. Using a curation-first approach, MUBI features cult classics and gems plucked from film festivals around the world. One new film a day is made available on the platform, and subscribers have 30 days to enjoy each movie.

In this episode, MUBI Director of International Programming, Anaïs Lebrun, explains how the approach works and its success to host Catherine Mathys, including:

  • How MUBI started as an online community for cinephiles and eventually morphed into a full-fledged streaming platform (4:03)
  • How MUBI selects the films it offers (8:02)
  • How francophone content fares internationally (17:02)
  • How MUBI is gearing up for the arrival of U.S. media giants in the OTT space (18:12)

Download an English-language transcript of the episode

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“Clair de lune” in the Suite bergamasque by Claude Debussy. Performed by Laurens Goedhart (pf) in 2011. Used in accordance with Creative Commons License Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0). No changes were made to the recording.

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About Futur et médias

Futur et médias is a podcast featuring in-depth interviews with experts who take a closer look at emerging trends and the digital transformation of the media and entertainment industries. Futur et médias is produced by the Canada Media Fund and hosted by the organization’s Director of Industry and Market Trends, Catherine Mathys.

Now & Next, the Canada Media Fund’s English-language podcast series, is available online and wherever you listen to podcasts.