EntertainmentWhat will television be like in 2023?

What will television be like in 2023?

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If any lesson has been learned from television in recent times, it is that it is almost impossible to make predictions about the path it will take. It is, most likely, the medium that changes and adapts the fastest. Trying to guess where the shots will go is a very complex task. It would even be too risky to bet on which chain will lead 2023 in Spain.

At the moment, 2022 closes with Antena 3 at the top, so a priori they are the ones who have the least to worry about. Telecinco faces a year of changes, with the departure of Paolo Vasile and the need to make moves to recover the lost audience. And La 1, which has made up its bad year with the World Cup audience in the final stretch, is also in the process of remodeling to regain presence and relevance.

Even so, there are certain indicators and trends that can give some clues about the future of the medium. Kantar, the auditor that is in charge of audience measurement in Spain and that handles a large amount of information on television consumption around the world, has published a report with forecasts for world television for next year, entitled Media Trends and Predictions 2023 (trends and predictions in the media 2023). These are some of their conclusions:

– New business channels: advertising on payment platforms. In 2022, payment platforms have entered a new phase after seeing how Netflix slowed down its growth and even lost subscribers in some quarters. Added to a panorama saturated with offers is the global economic crisis and accelerated growth during the pandemic. Everything indicates that the platforms will reach their subscriber ceiling faster than expected. That is why they are already exploring new commercial avenues. The report recalls how YouTube has stopped promoting its premium model to bet on its traditional ad-supported model. Both Netflix and Disney+ have launched plans with ads to attract or retain customers and there is also talk of a similar offer on Apple TV+.

– The platforms watch traditional television. As has happened with the addition of advertising, video-on-demand services are looking at linear television in other ways. On the one hand, it is increasingly common for traditional channels to premiere their series earlier on their payment platforms, as Atresmedia has done in Spain and as ITVX, the platform of the largest commercial chain in the United Kingdom, ITV, has also done since November. Netflix has tested in France with a linear channel, Netflix Direct, and several platforms are already experimenting with live broadcasts, both of sports and of specific events (Netflix will do so with a Chris Rock monologue in 2023).

– Weekly broadcast above the “all at once”. “In a new chapter of the TV and video market, the winners of the platform war will be those who use delivery strategies that strike the right balance between on-demand and linear video,” says the Kantar report. Traditional broadcasters adopt aspects of the video-on-demand strategy that best suit their interests, while platforms embrace traditional concepts such as weekly release and broadcast content through linear channels. For this reason, the consultant’s bet is that the market will gradually abandon the strategies of launching content only once and the “all at once” in order to maximize revenue. Netflix has assured that it is not considering abandoning this mode of premiere of its series.

– Cancellation of subscriptions and preference for cheaper options (even if they have advertising). In Spain, 23% of those who plan to cancel at least one video-on-demand subscription in the next quarter do so for saving money as the main reason. The economic crisis is driving ad-funded business models, and consumers are increasingly receptive to the idea if it saves them money, the report says. Advertisers are increasingly considering platforms in their strategies, especially to reach younger viewers. Kantar warns of the risk that these models create two types of viewers: those with less disposable income, who will be the ones targeted by these ads, and those with higher income,

– Big screens on small screens. There is a lot of talk that the platforms allow us to see the content when and where we want. But it turns out that most of the time we want to watch it when always (the rush hour of time-shifted television consumption practically coincides with the prime time of traditional television) and where always (that is, the television in the living room). Viewing data in the UK and Brazil compiled by Kantar shows that the vast majority of broadcast and on-demand viewing takes place on TV, with smart TVs being the main driver of increased usage of streaming services. Smart televisions have tripled in Spain since 2017 and are the preferred device for 59% of Spaniards to view content on demand.

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