Avril Blondelot, Content Insights Director at Eurodata TV Worldwide has presented the latest trends in terms of TV content, noting the continued appeal of the medium and its willingness to try new approaches.
Speaking at Industry Spotlight conference of MIPTV in Cannes, she said that at a time when international hits are becoming scarce, we are discovering some really promising output, such as Blue Planet II, The Voice Senior, Young Sheldon and When Heroes Fly. “Local productions are more popular than ever, making it very hard to reach a consensus on one or two titles. The priority for 2018: to create content that is able to break away in search of a particular audience, rather than desperately seeking the mass audience,” she suggested.
Over the 95 countries analysed by Eurodata TV Worldwide in 2017 for its One TV Year in the World report, the global individual viewing time for television stood at 2 hours and 56 minutes. However, this figure did conceal strong disparities between the continents: from Asia with just 2 hours and 25 minutes to North America which ranked highest with 4 hours and 3 minutes – almost double the duration! Europe followed closely behind with 3 hours and 49 minutes per person daily.
Putting such figures in perspective, Frédéric Vaulpré, Vice-President of Eurodata TV Worldwide, noted that in the last 25 years, global TV viewing time had remained steady, despite the increasing availability of video content online. “Thus, in North America and Asia, we are seeing a slight dip, but South America continues to grow and Europe remains at a historically high level.”
For a few years now, viewers all over the world have been able to watch TV content via means other than live TV: therefore, time-shifted and Internet screen consumption benefit TV programmes, suggests Eurodata.
“Combined across the 35 countries where they are measured, catch-up and time-shifted viewing on average add 8% to the audience figures for TV content,” added Vaulpré.
Young adults, whose viewing time trends are closely scrutinised across the globe, are the biggest adopters of these new usages as a proportion of their total consumption: catch-up and time-shifted viewing accounted for 11 per cent of their consumption.
Moreover, the type of content that is viewed the most via Internet screens and catch-up is specifically directed at them: for example, reality TV shows (Les Marseillais, W9, France) and series that feature young people (Brugklas, NP3, Netherlands). In some instances, audiences have even doubled compared to live TV broadcast figures.
More than 4,100 imported recurring programmes were launched in 2017 in the 48 territories studied for NoTa, the service that monitors new programmes on TV and online platforms. The United Kingdom and the United States were the leading exporters, with over 500 programmes each. France, Germany and Turkey completed the top five.
Preferential global trade flows exist between the regions of the world: the UK exports half of its creations, in particular factual programmes, to northern Europe. France sells the majority of its recurring programs to neighbouring countries, including Italy and Portugal. Finally, Turkey exports equal proportions of its programmes, especially fiction, to Eastern Europe, the Middle East and South America.
Fiction dominate the global charts. Audience rating hits included genres and subjects that have delighted TV viewers for several years now. This was true for series that feature endearing or gifted characters, such as Young Sheldon in the USA, which enabled CBS to multiply its youth audience share, as well as series that combine love and family.
On a totally different note, crime series laden with mysteries or set in a bygone era, also appealed to audiences throughout the world: for example, Beau Séjour in Belgium and Cetnici Z Luhacovic in the Czech Republic have doubled the youth audience share for the channels that aired them.
The dating theme is never more popular than when combined with other subjects, for example, the game show Love at First Song (CJ E&M Corporation, Vietnam), presents a blend of music and dates where the candidates woo one another only through their musical tastes; and Date Night (Banijay Rights, Australia), a hybrid programme similar to the GoggleBox format. Another innovation along this theme is the emergence of programming dedicated to relationship breakups, such as The Break Up by International Cabo, or Make Up or Break Up by Facebook Live : the entire love relationship cycle, from love at first sight to the heartbreak of separation, now seen on TV.
After several years of programmes showcasing children, it is now the turn of seniors to get their own shows, such as: The Voice Senior or The World According to 80 Year Olds (Talpa Global, Netherlands), and even star as fictional heroes, as in: The Viagra Diaries which is due to air on the CW channel in the United States.
Finally, although family dramas are a TV classic, the families portrayed in 2018 face more topical problems, such as the father’s place in the family, with a greater focus on emotion than on action, for example: Save Me (Sky Vision, United Kingdom).