Is TV losing steam?
Although viewer numbers did rise during the pandemic, we know that people aged 15-24 are leaving TV behind and staying informed via the web and social media. I’d even say for certain that I’m the only person at the agency who still has a TV set worthy of the name. All my young employees – those 35 and under – just replay TV on their computer.
Still, there is one exception – reality TV. I don’t know why, but it’s a real phenomenon, and one worth examining. All my young employees no longer watch TV, but will make an exception for those shows, where they watch (a bit like voyeurs) the contestants having adventures that we all know are rigged, and filmed whenever. These reality shows have themes ranging from the chance to meet your soul mate, to round-the-world races, to competitions of every kind: cooking, singing, hairdressing, and business. Viewers get really involved in the stories. They talk to each other about them and quickly become fans of these insta-celebrities, who they then follow almost religiously on their TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook accounts.
According to the French Centre for the Observation of Society, the small screen still has a lot to offer. It has long had competition from other kinds of screens (computers and video games). Until recently, they seemed fairly complementary: it was total screen viewership that increased. What was true yesterday isn’t, quite, today. People only have so much time, and the Internet is taking up more and more of it. Médiamétrie says that each individual spends 1 hour 37 minutes per day on it, compared to 50 minutes in 2012 and 20 minutes a decade ago.
The stagnation of time spent in front of the TV, all ages combined, masks a very sharp drop since 2012 with those aged 15-34, from 2 hours and 45 minutes to 1 hour and 43 minutes in 2019.
For the youngest, PCs and smartphones dominate: 15- to 24-year-olds now spend more time on the Internet than in front of the TV. YouTube has become the favourite channel of a good many teenagers.
Reach out to me so we can continue the conversation!
Join our mailing lists for useful updates: www.natapr.com.