April 12, 2024

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How are public television networks trying to attract young audiences?

How are public television networks trying to attract young audiences?

This article was originally published on Conversation.

Looking back, many will remember the term “silly box” to refer to the power of the small screen to hijack its audience, even the young ones.

However, today's new generations no longer sit in front of the television to watch their favorite programs at a predetermined time. They see them when they want, where they want, and with the device they want, especially on mobile. And so, while Traditional television consumption Since 2013, it has declined by more than 60% among children ages 4-12 and youth ages 13-24, and younger audiences are increasingly consuming more short-form audiovisual content.

Generation Z prefers fast content promoted by social networks and platforms. These are known as “snack type” or “snack type” contents.Snacks“It lasts from a few seconds to five minutes. They see them on TikTok or Instagram A secondary activity that does not require greater concentration But this in turn encourages them to participate with comments, 'likes', share posts and create their own micro-content.

Given the rise of such delicious content, streaming platforms and the difficulty of adapting to more flexible consumption, public television networks are considering what to do to reconnect with younger audiences.

More platforms

According to the consulting company GECASeven out of ten international audio-visual industry executives believe traditional TV can still diversify its content offerings and appeal to the newest generations.

Many chains are already trying this Multi-platform strategies and new OTT services ('over-the-top', i.e. streaming content freely on the Internet so that the recipient can watch it whenever they want). Some of these new online services are emerging with specific programs to “revamp” public TV channels, both public and private.

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In Europe, the German public television stations ARD and ZDF were established panic, a streaming service that produces 70 youth programs for social media. Among them the web series 'Drok(Adapted from the Norwegian “SKAM”) about a group of teenagers in Berlin. “DRUCK” is streamed live on YouTube and showcases the characters' interactions on WhatsApp and Telegram.

In Spain, several public and private channels have launched platforms with content for young people: playz (from RTVE), Floxer (from Atresmedia, built into Atresplayer), Excessive (from Mediaset, integrated into Mitele) and more recently Premieran (From EITB, the Basque public radio and television station.)

There are OTT services with more general content, e.g BBC iPlayer And itvX in the UK, Streams Public television in Flanders and New 3 cat Catalan Public Television.

Other European public channels have agreed to launch programmes, especially youth programmes, in an attempt to compete with transnational platforms. This is the situation European alliance Between France Télévisions, ZDF (German) and RAI (Italian). On the other hand, RTVE, Antena3 and Mediaset were formed LikesTVa broad TV service that lets you watch last week's content for free using the blue button on your remote.

Public television networks confront large international platforms with national platforms or supranational programming alliances. Is that enough to attract a young audience?

New formats

Public television stations RTVE and EITB are focusing on revamping their digital offerings. In 2023 Your linear audiences It barely exceeded 11%, in the case of RTVE (below YouTube), and 8.3% in the EITB group (although ETB2 news programs reached an average share of 18.4%).

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in playzRTVE's youth digital content channel (which also has an app), you can currently find web series (such as “to be or not to be“, about a trans teenager”), “Music playlistFrom “La Pija y la Quinqui”, a video podcast about the concerns of young people and influencers dealing with their mental health issues, and a broadcast of the professional freestyle rap league.

RTVE Media Lab Collects interactive novels. Through it, the user can make decisions about a migrant rescue operation in the Mediterranean, answer a quiz about the dark side of filters on social networks and watch a conflict or humanitarian crisis using a mobile phone, among other options. Some of them are transmedia projects, such as “Riders'. This starts from a documentary and later extends to a game – where the user becomes a deliveryman for a day – to a podcast and news on the topic on RTVE and a “web series” on Playz.

Despite the decline in linear audiences at group level, for three years EITB has been offering innovative digital formats targeting young people in the Basque language, which revolve around the popular music station Gastia. On their website we can find podcast videos and 'webseries' covering various topics such as being an intern ('picadonna'), gender identity ('Daniel|A|') and online harassment ('#Martihilda'), among others.

Basque Public Radio and Television have projects that have become transmedia phenomena such as “Arab art' And 'Go!Weigh!“, which are broadcast on TV, on the web, in apps, live streaming, interactive digital publications, podcasts, etc. “Go!azen” has expanded to include plays and concerts. In addition, it can Listen to almost all youth programs and series in their podcast versions EITBpodcast.

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Recently, EITB picked up the Instagram music series “Itsatsita“(Based on a play) about a couple who gets 'stuck' during a sexual relationship, YouTube miniseries”Beta“, about sexual assault within a group of friends, and the Primeran premiere of a self-produced fantasy series,”Itxaso,” about the world of surfing, which then moved to Netflix.

Creating innovative formats for young people is making progress on public television, but the platforms continue to make more progress.

After saying goodbye to “traditional” television, the live concerts of “OT 2023From Amazon Prime Video added in November. Nearly 2 million viewersa number he surpassed the following month and he became president OTT audience leader in the 16-29 age group. despite of It is not the most watched program on the platform, as it exceeds five million views daily on TikTok It is expected that as the final match approaches, the number of spectators will increase.

For this reason, it is difficult to know how long youth formats will last on traditional television compared to the monopoly of transnational broadcast services.