It’s that time of year again—as in, the New Year. TV trends abound, come screeching in from the glorious tail-end of last year (now known as “2018”). Let’s look at what we should be watching for….
500 (and more) scripted TV series make their way onto our screens and into our minds for the 2018-2019 season. Yes, this is a record number. Producers and audiences alike are looking not merely at quantity, but mainly at quality. And there’s quality TV out there coming in to your living room or bedroom or kitchen or… wherever else in your home you can fit a decent TV. Among the most-anticipated of the 500-plus scripted TV series: The Act (premier); American Gods (second season); Big Little Lies (second season); Deadwood (revived after 13 years dead); and, of course, Game of Thrones (the grande finale of blood, pain, and death).
€271 million ($307.9 million) is what France’s SVOD TV market reached financially through 2018. This was some serious skyrocketing, fueled in large measure by US TV originals. The numbers tell us that the French VOD market (combining pay-VOD and subscription-based VOD) is believed to have generated €453 million ($514.9 million) during the first three quarters of 2018, equaling a 38% year-on increase. We’re also told that 58% of French SVOD consumption comes via TV series. American-produced series such as Netflix’s Stranger Things are included in nearly 70% of French SVOD demand. Meanwhile, French titles comprise 26% of the offerings and 16% of the demand.
15.8 million viewers tuned in to watch American football league the NFL on TV in 2018. This was 800,000 more views over the 2017 season, or an increase of 5% vs 2017. Reasons for the small but significant increase in viewership include a notable reduction in over pre-game protests by Afro-American players and new officiating rules instituted to reduce injuries, making the game more exciting to watch from the perspective of the average NFL viewer. The NFL’s championship game, the Super Bowl, which is played right around the mid-winter mark of the year, remains the most-viewed single-day sports event in the world.
$10.9 billion USD is how much China spent on TV programming in 2018, en route to becoming the planet’s second-largest TV market after the U.S. Furthermore, 46% of that figure can be attributed to international content acquisitions made by aggressive Chinese media companies. In spite of this impressive growth, new restrictions put in place by that nation’s Radio and Television Administration in September seeking to outlaw foreign TV shows in their entirety for prime time (19.00-22.00) while also enacting a 30% quota on streaming platforms for any imported content make investors and producers confused as to how to go about getting involved in the burgeoning Chinese TV market.
$12 USD per month for ad-free service from Netflix is what journalist Alan Wolk at Forbes believes will be central to the TV landscape in 2019. Wolk seeks to answer the question of how Netflix’s new biggest competitors in 2019—Disney+, “WarnerFlix”, and “AppleFlix”—will fare in the new year. Wolk believes that “while Disney and Warner will use a two-tier pricing model, Apple will remain ad-free. Churn rates will indeed be massive, as viewers flit from service to service to binge watch the latest ‘must see’ shows. Disney and Warner will stick to weekly release schedules while Apple will do the all-at-once thing.” As the old story goes, only time will tell us if he’s right.