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Digital pushing growth even as linear content consumption declines

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SINGAPORE: Interesting revelations came forth on Day 3 of Asia TV Forum (ATF) 2015 where formats were the pivotal topic of discussion. 

 

At the onset was a presentation by Eurodata head of global research and content strategy Sahar Baghery, who spoke about a few trends that are currently worth making note of. 

 

According to a study by Eurodata, consumption of linear television is on the decline across progressive nations like France, Germany, Canada and US among others; whereas there is only a marginal growth in the consumption patterns even in countries in Asia and Africa. “What this study suggests is that even though linear consumption is witnessing a downward trend, digital consumption is on the rise,” Baghery stated.

 

What was even more interesting is the fact that countries like France, Netherlands, Sweden and UK are working on evaluating the viewership of content across screens to give a better understanding to content creators as well as brands advertising on the various platforms about the presence and viability of their investments. Sahar also touched upon the fact that a lot of kids content is now being exclusively produced by OTT players like Amazon and Netflix as they believe that is the future of content consumption by millennials.

 

The study further educated about the various genres of shows that are currently doing well across the European and American circuits. “Stories dealing with corruption, a spy drama and crime thrillers are doing the best in terms of viewership across popular regions as of now." She added that anthology series were also doing well as a format and could be further explored by other markets as well.

 

The next couple of sessions for the day dealt with how leaders in Asia, primarily South Korea, are creating content that travels the world. The Korean wave has been sweeping the world and it was no different at ATF either. In a session, which spoke about the trending shows in South Korea, various case studies were discussed as to what led to their success domestically and how that translated into deals with European, Middle Eastern and US markets. CJ E&M manager Spencer Craig Thomas said, “We are very confident of our linear distribution presence, and thus are now looking to grow our content exponentially on the digital side. Our belief is that by creating follow-up or catch up content for our already existing properties on digital, we are only going to increase our consumption traction further.”

 

On the other hand, Indonesia's MNC Group VP content Hendy Liem stated that international content is only capable of gaining eyeballs but can't be monetised well. “It’s important to understand pricing and return on investments in the first place before venturing into international syndication deals or spending heavily on creating content without knowing its monetising capabilities.”

 

On the kids’ front, a panel discussion was held on the possibilities and success stories of some of the formats, which have been led by kids as the main protagonists. According to research data by Eurodata, 40 per cent of content, which has kids as their protagonists are fictional; 39 per cent is in the entertainment genre and the remaining 21 per cent are factual shows.

 

The conclusion of the panel was that though the protagonists of shows like The Voice Kids, Super Kids and Master Class are children or young adults, they look at targeting families and not only kids for gaining that many more eyeballs and touch the empathy chords with their viewers.

 

That brings us to the end of the TV market at ATF 2015; ScreenSingapore will take centre stage tomorrow. Stay tuned for more updates!

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