Promoting Cultural Diversity in Content Production and Distribution
Since 2003, promoting cultural diversity has been a CSR priority for Vivendi. The group shares the vision of UNESCO whose 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, states that cultural diversity is “a mainspring of sustainable development of communities, peoples and nations”. Since 2010, this issue is one of the objectives taken into consideration in the compensation of the Group’s senior executives.
Vivendi, who invested €2.3 billion in music, film and audiovisual programs in 2014, is committed to encouraging diversity in musical repertoires and cinematographic expression, spotting and supporting new talent, promoting local talent and showcasing cultural heritage. As demonstrated by the Integrated Reporting pilot project, the promotion of cultural diversity creates both social and financial value.
- Encouraging creation in all its diversity
- Invest in creativity ats its source
- Promote diversity in audiovisual, cinematic and musical expressions
- Foster creativity at the digital age
- Promoting local talent and cultural heritage
- Promote local talent and support their international reach
- Strenghten local production skills in Africa
- preserve and promote heritage works
- Promoting respect for intellectual property and supporting artists
- Fight against piracy
- Organize meetings among various stakeholders
- 2014 Non-financial Indicators Handbook
- Section 4.1.2. « Promoting Cultural Diversity » (p. 14)
- Innovative Positioning
- Non-Financial Reporting as a Management Tool
- An Integrated Reporting Approach
- Culture(s) with Vivendi website
- Podcasts of “RDV Culture” on Vivoice, Vivendi’s CSR webradio
- In order to provide concrete illustrations of the major role played by culture in fostering economic growth and enhancing social cohesion, in 2012, Vivendi launched the website “Culture(s) with Vivendi”. Focusing on cultural diversity, this site offers an insight to the cultural industries and the creative world: the “Artist Inspirations” section enables a better understanding of the diversity of musical and cinematographic influences that inspire artistic creation; the section devoted to “Creative Jobs” presents the value chain and the highly diverse range of professions found in the cultural industries through interviews with professionals; the “Intercultural Dialog” section illustrates how culture promotes mutual understanding, through numerous testimonials of artists, students and experts; the “De Facto” section puts culture at the heart of sustainable development, using facts and figures, testimonials and studies.
- Culture is regularly featured in the programs of Vivoice, Vivendi’s CSR webradio. Debates and topical issues such as “Intercultural dialogue: proposals for action“, “Africa, culture and sustainable development” and “Cultural diversity at the digital age” have been taken up on air, and distinguished guests have been spoken on Vivoice, including singer-songwriter Ayo, Executive Vice President, Strategy, Finance and Technical at Studiocanal Romain Bessi and UMG France, Italy and MENA CEO Pascal Nègre (you can find all the podcasts here)
- Vivendi has made the development of local talent in Africa an essential component of its CSR policy, evidenced by, among other things, the setting of networks involving colleagues in the subsidiaries located in Africa, the collecting of data on societal indicators since 2004, and the running of a sound engineering training program. Started in 2006 with the support of UNESCO, this annual program takes place at the Moffou studio in Bamako. It gains the loyalty of young professionals, who develop diversifi ed skills such as the skills required to record the “Made in Bamako” album in 2012.
- Vivendi and the prestigious higher education school Sciences Po in Paris have partnered to foster the public debate on corporate social responsibility (CSR) concerning media companies and the cultural industries. Two major issues are addressed as part of this partnership : the role of women in artistic production and the contribution of culture in the sustainable development of the African continent. In this context, Vivendi and PRESAGE (Sciences Po’s (Programme de Recherche et d’Enseignement des SAvoirs sur le GEnre) co-organized a conference on March 26 at Sciences Po in Paris with academics and representatives from the whole cultural industries’ value chain (including three colleagues of Canal+ Group). The conference is in line with Vivendi’s work on women in the cultural sector, that included, in 2013, the publication of a study on “Women in music and cinema in Europe” in partnership with french Laboratoire de l’égalité (Equality Lab).
As the chief contributor to audiovisual and cinematographic expression in France (mainland France and the overseas departments and territories), Canal+ Group, through its subsidiaries, also plays a significant role in Europe and Africa. Cinematographic diversity is one of the pillars of the editorial line of its Canal+ channel.
In 2014, Canal+ remained a special partner of French cinema. It actively supported creation by financing 40% of French films approved by the CNC (the French National Center for Cinema and the Animated Image) for €132 million.
- Canal+ Group has a particular focus on the discovery of new talent. The channel empowers young filmmakers by fi nancing their first and/or second films. In 2014, 27 first films and 15 second films were funded by the channel in France. In addition to the artistic watchdog Repérages, the channel is also developing programs based specifically around the discovery of new talent, such as the L’Afrique au féminin project.
- Studiocanal,which includes the French entity as well as its British and German subsidiaries and which is also active in Australia and New Zealand, has established itself as a leading European player in the coproduction, acquisition and distribution of fillms. In 2014, Studiocanal invested €173 million in European works, thus developing develop an offering that complements that of the major American studios. Involved in promoting and preserving film heritage, Studiocanal is also in charge of preserving and enriching a catalogue of over 5,000 European and American titles. In 2014, Studiocanal restored two films (Le Jour se lève [Daybreak] by Marcel Carné and Les Contes d’Hoffman [Tales of Hoffman] by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger) and digitized 21, including the masterpieces of Jacques Tati and also The Seventh Seal by Ingmar Bergman.
- In Africa, Canal+ Africa supports numerous cinematographic productions: since 2005, more than 50 films have been co-produced or co-financed. The channel broadcasts twelve African fi lms every year. Six fi lms and series will be in competition at the 2015 FESPACO (the Ouagadougou PanAfrican Film Festival). In 2014, Canal+ Africa supported, among others, the following African films: La Fugitive by Boubacar Diallo (Burkina Faso), Soleils by Dani Kouyaté and Olivier Delahaye (France/Burkina Faso) and Félicité by Alain Gomis (Senegal). In 2014, Canal+ Africa also launched A+, a new 100% African channel broadcast through the Canalsat package in more than 20 countries in West and Central Africa.
- For Canal+ Group, digital technologies provide an essential tool with which to raise the profile of cinema and reach an increasingly vast and diversified public to satisfy its “thirst” for audiovisual and cinematographic content. This purpose is served by the strategic partnerships that Canal+ Group enters into with digital distribution stakeholders: an example of this is the partnership with Chinese SVOD platform Youku.com, thanks to which over 50 major classics including Chaplin, Gouttes d’eau sur pierres brûlantes, Mulholland Dr. and The Pianist will be made available to the Chinese audience. This type of agreement facilitates Canal+ Group’s capacity to build bridges between cultures.
Universal Music Group
Cultural diversity is at the heart of Universal Music Group’s business. UMG offers a vast catalog covering every variety of musical genre. It bases its growth policy not only on developing its roster of international artists, but also on spotting and promoting local talent, whether it is young artists or best-selling acts, to maintain its leadership position in its different national markets.
- In 2014, local artists across 59 countries account for more than 60% of Universal Music Group’s physical and digital sales, compared to 61% in 2013 (please refer to “Societal indicators”). The albums recorded represent over 44 languages altogether.
- In order to better support local artists in Africa, Universal Music France launched the first pan-African musical talent contest “Island Africa Talent,” co-produced with Canal+ and aired on the new A+ channel. A new Island Africa label of the same name was launched: Baloji, a rapper of Congolese origin, was the first artist signed.
UMG’s work to digitize its exceptional catalog of musical works provides a unique way for accessing thousands of recordings that are unavailable in any physical medium. Therefore, the group is developing platforms and applications in order to promote this exceptional artists and catalog, while continuing with its investments.
- In 2014, UMG introduced uDiscover, a free-to-consumer global platform offering new ways to explore the catalog and to discover Universal Music artists. With more than 600,000 unique visitors per month, uDiscover is a new platform for discovering legendary UMG artists, thus helping to diversify the musical culture of listeners.
- In line with its ambition to bring classical music to a broader (and younger) audience, UMG launched Sinfini Music in Australia in 2014, after first launching it in the United Kingdom in 2013. Sinfi ni Music is a site that brings classical music to a broad and diverse audience. It was enormously successful (100,000 unique visitors per month) due to a rich offering of music and published content (local composers and artists, events and participation in educational projects in partnership with music schools).
- In France, UMG is equipped with a ten-person “Back Catalogue” team whose role is to foster knowledge and enjoyment of the works of all of the artists that comprise the repertoire of the group’s various labels on a daily basis. This is how the anthologies of prestigious French and international artists came about (Jacques Brel, Barbara, Georges Brassens, the Rolling Stones etc.). It would not be possible to unlock the potential of this exceptional heritage were it not for the existence of the “bunker”, where all of the tapes produced dating back several generations are archived, and the work of digitizing and preserving this heritage undertaken by the studios called upon by UMG.
- Partnerships with global brands form part of UMG’s determination to make its catalogue accessible to all “consumers” beyond borders and cultural barriers. In 2014, more than 145 partnerships were entered into by UMG’s dedicated Brands Division, particularly with banks, telecom operators and companies from the electronics and fast-moving consumer goods sector. These partnerships take the form of the creation of dedicated services and special operations that are free to consumers, particularly in emerging markets and in countries with rapid growth (Africa, India, Middle East, Eastern Europe and Latin America) where music is not widely accessible. One of the many examples : the partnership with Turkish Airlines, which provides passengers with an opportunity to discover the heritage of the city they are fl ying to through music playlists and interviews with artists.