Between safe bets and innovative content trends, TV has kept its appeal and is taking advantage of new forms of distribution, research company Eurodata TV Worldwide reported Monday at TV conference and market MipTV in Cannes, France.
Eurodata observed strong regional disparities and the rise of new forms of consumption. Over the 95 countries analyzed by Eurodata last year 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 concealed 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. Europe followed closely behind with 3 hours and 49 minutes per person daily.
“In the last 25 years, global TV viewing time has 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,” Frédéric Vaulpré, Eurodata vice-president, said.
Time-shifted and internet screen viewing has supported the consumption of TV shows. “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,” Vaulpré said.
Young adults are the biggest adopters of these new usages as a proportion of their total consumption: catch-up and time-shifted viewing accounted for 11% of their consumption. Moreover, the type of content that is viewed the most via internet screens and catch-up is often targeted at the young, for example, reality TV shows like “Les Marseillais” on W9 in France, and series that feature young people, such as “Brugklas” on NP3 in the Netherlands. In some instances, audiences have even doubled compared with live TV broadcast figures.
More than 4,100 imported series, including factual, fiction and entertainment shows, were launched last year in the 48 territories studied for NoTa, the service that monitors new programs on TV and online platforms. The U.K. and the U.S. were the leading exporters, with more than 500 programs each. France, Germany and Turkey completed the top five.
Export figures show strong regional preferences for shows. The U.K. exports half of its shows, in particular factual programs, to Northern Europe. France sells the majority of its recurrent programs to neighboring countries, including Italy and Portugal. Finally, Turkey exports equal proportions of its programs, especially fiction, to Eastern Europe, the Middle East and South America.
Fictions dominated the global charts. Audience rating hits included genres and subjects that have captivated TV viewers for many years. This was true for series that feature endearing or gifted characters, such as “Young Sheldon” in the U.S., which enabled CBS to multiply its youth audience share, as well as series that combine love and family.
Crime series laden with mysteries or set in a bygone era also appealed to audiences throughout the world: for example, “Beau Séjour” on Één in Belgium and “Cetnici Z Luhacovic” on ČT1 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 another subject, 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 program 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 Kabo International and Global Road Entertainment, or “Make Up or Break Up” by Facebook Watch. The entire love relationship cycle, from love at first sight to the heartbreak of separation is now seen on TV.
After several years of programs showcasing children, now it’s 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 U.S.
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, for example “Trauma” (ITV Studios Global Entertainment, U.K.)
Avril Blondelot, content insight director at Eurodata, said: “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.”