However, whenever, wherever. Audiovisual content users are increasingly turning to streaming platforms in order to consume their favorite programs. It doesn’t matter what kind of content: talent competitions, reality shows, series, or documentaries. The user has taken control of the remote, now and forever. This video streaming trend has ramifications that are difficult to predict or quantify. What is clear is that there is already a first casualty: traditional television.
It only takes a quick skim of the daily television audience numbers to confirm that something is changing. In fact, to see just how much things have changed, just take a look at the viewer and consumption numbers achieved by different players from just a couple of years ago compared to the time before platforms like Netflix existed or entertainment companies ventured into online audiovisual content or established their own platforms.
If already in the 90s the emergence of private television media companies marked a new chapter in the consumption of different content, this had more to do with the numbers than with how content was consumed. Meaning, no TV program or series today could reach the more than 10 million viewers that the highest rated program of a few years ago could. Consumption was simply distributed, there was still a long way to go before the emergence of video streaming.
Fiction, now it’s streaming
The proliferation of private television channels in the 90s represented a never-before seen fight for advertising and the advertising pie was distributed equitably.
The data, however, points to the real revolution: the explosion of video and streaming platforms, which served to win over viewer trust. The revolution to liberate audiovisual content from the tyranny of the fixed time line-up set by broadcast channels spelled a catastrophe for traditional TV, especially for a specific content genre: fiction series, although other entertainment programs were not immune to this new reality.
Few of the series broadcast on free to air channels have made the big time. People no longer watch shows at a prescribed time and day and always from their living room. None of those shows have managed to claim more than 10% of the market. Now people stream their entertainment content. And they specifically use platforms like Amazon and Netflix to watch this and other kinds of fictional content. Shows like Money Heist or Velvet managed to blossom beyond the traditional television ecosystem. Something is going on.
Traditional television programs are also no strangers to changes in the way audiovisual content is consumed, and although not to such an extent, they are also participating in streaming adoption. While the decline of traditional television has been slow and reality shows like Big Brother still top the ratings, the most famous streaming platforms in the market already offer streaming-only content like talent and reality shows, and competitions. This is not just the here and now of audiovisual content entertainment, it is the future and will define how this genre evolves.