2020 – it's a wrap!
I guess we agree that this has been a more challenging year than anyone expected in January. It gave us uncertainty that we have not faced in decades - and never in Aito's 18-year history. I was scared as hell when we saw what would happen to Aito and the whole industry. And so was almost everyone else I met. But we all reacted differently—some over-functioned and some under-functioned. The worst for us was that we had to furlough employees for the first time in Aito Media's history. Luckily, over the summer, most productions were working full force in this new abnormal time. The jobs were saved.
Despite all this, this year has also been a year of innovation for us. At the start of lockdown, within four days, we put together We're All Here Live show in cooperation with our dear friends at Aku's Factory. It was recognized internationally and nominated in TBI Content Innovation Awards. We also got two other nominations for international awards: The Food Innovators made it to C21 Awards and Almost True to Rockie Awards. Four of our shows: You Are What You Eat, Pirjo, Rich House Poor House, and The Food Innovators made it to the Golden Venla shortlist. Fingers crossed.
I have never been prouder of our team. During this time of the pandemic, we have produced 26 productions and put together a similar amount of new developments. We have been active in all genres, from true crime to epic drama and from millennial reality to comedy. It's hard to find words to thank everyone for their perseverance.
It was also a significant change for Aito when Mediawan acquired our parent company Lagardère Studios in the fall. It's good to be part of an even bigger group, and we believe that inside Mediawan, stories will travel both ways. The network gives possibilities both ways. So let's export and import ideas like never before. A good example of that is that our friends at Sky High are producing the Au Pairs series in the Netherlands.
For Aito, it was also a year of fiction and high-end documentary. We don't need a crystal ball to predict that in 2021 all VOD platforms will be more important customers to us. We are happy that our fiction and documentary slates are quickly growing. To mention a few: procedural crime series Lakeside Murders, comedy series Mother-in-Paw and international documentary series co-production Gaialand in co-operation with our sister company Imagissime.
We are sure that there will be a bright future ahead of us next year. Whether the virus will go away rapidly or not, the need for good stories stays. And my guess the need for them is more important than ever before.
Thank you for 2020, and have a fantastic holiday season when the time comes!
Founder | Co-CEO