Posted on March 2, 2016
On February 17th, Infopresse held a conference on television and the multiscreen experience, exploring how television, mobility and interactivity have generated new forms of dialogue with spectators, changed expectations, and transformed the world of watchable, consumable media.
LVL was pleased to be there to present our watch-along experience solution, and to hear what leaders of the television and media industry had to say about the so-called Golden Age of television and their predictions moving forward.
The consequences of digital media on the programming of large channels
To understand where television is going, we need to talk about where it’s been and what is different now – and how do we even define what qualifies as “now” versus “before”? Representatives of Groupe V Média, Télé-Québec and Groupe TVA addressed the changes that television has witnessed since the introduction of digital media, and the consequences on the programming of large channels.
First of all, the decision-making process. It used to be that one person was responsible for all programming choices. Now, a whole group of specialists weighs in. Does this slow things down? Undoubtedly. But maybe it means hitting the mark more too.
Channels have never been so theme-focused. There has always been specialization: the family channel, the sports channel… But even those specialized channels have been further segmented and reoriented towards the product. Digital media help to make this possible, allowing channels to test content that is more niche than what they might feel comfortable broadcasting on TV.
The biggest change may be that cable television has never had so much competition for spectator attention. Before, all content channels were competing against one another. Now, these very same channels are banding together against other common threats: Netflix, Shomi, Amazon, even video bloggers on YouTube. Channels are realizing that they can share content across multiple platforms and attract larger viewership. Not all content needs to be on TV. Sometimes having it on a channel’s website can do just as much for brand awareness and appreciation. One platform can serve as a lever for another. Channels are transitioning from pushing their brands to pushing good content. Recent Québec shows like “Like Moi” and “Ces gars-là” have been great hits, attracting new viewers to old channels. When Musique Plus launched “Lip Sync Battle” they saw their subscription rise for the first time in 7 or 8 years.
Are channels afraid of the Netflix and vloggers of the world? Not according to them. “I don’t see them as competing with television,” says Denis Dubois, Directeur general des programmes at Télé-Québec. They are disruptors that have forced networks to adjust their business strategy, certainly, but they are also potential partners. The new “star system” of YouTubers? Following the adage if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, Groupe TVA has invited several on board.
Groupe V Média, Télé-Québec and Groupe TVA are in agreement: it’s up to television to put the internet in its place.