28 Apr Content Curation: TV’s golden era is having a comeback
Over the past year we could witness a revival of linear TV. People were bound to stay home, and either out of boredom, curiosity or interest in latest news and information, flocked again in front of the TV to watch ‘old-fashioned’ linear TV channels. The increase in such TV consumption seemed to herald a new era of linear TV. Are we at the dawn of a new Golden Era of TV?
There are some indications for such a development. Especially, if we consider ‘linear TV’ as programmatic TV or editorial TV. That means, that someone decides which programme title is on the TV schedule and how that fits in the overall user experience of such a channel. It also means that the consumer gives full control of content curation to someone else, rather than picking themselves the title they want to watch at that very moment. It is basically the classic distinction between lean-back and lean- forward experience, that has always differentiated a linear TV format from other forms of TV / video consumption.
The number of TV Channels available worldwide has reached astronomic heights. It seems there is now a TV offer served for every niche and need in this world. At the same time, streaming services of all kinds continue to mushroom everywhere. From main-”stream” offers to thematic services you can now also find a huge variety of OTT TV platforms. Both lead to an overwhelmed audience. When the buffet is full of lavish foods for each palate, it becomes harder to choose which tasty bit is best for you. It calls for someone who helps you to choose: like the maitre de service, the sommelier or any good waiter this person will help you to navigate the menu and make the choices that suit your taste best.
In TV this art of choosing has become a key pillar of the business and one of its strongest assets to gain and keep loyal audiences. To bring the right content in front of the right audience, so that everyone is satisfied, is the art of curation. Curation again has become one of the most critical elements of any TV strategy, no matter if you operate a linear service or a VOD platform. Those services that master the art of curation will likely attract more customers and can monetize content in various ways. Curated content will help them to build loyal clients and to establish their brand in their relevant market segment. Content again is King and can be used as the main tool to deepen client relationship.
Why we need to curate TV content?
The diversity of available content and at the same time the proliferation of distribution mechanism and devices created a more and more complex industry environment. It is impossible these days to have a complete overview of the content universe and at the same time master all distribution channels. One will need to specialize to be really on top of things. Some will focus on the way content is being distributed and which audiences it should address in which mechanism. Others will focus on scouting the content word, identifying proper assets and bringing them to the right distribution platform. The diversity creates abundance but requires people who can see the individual plants in the jungle – and who can also see how this plant is pleasing certain audiences.
In this new distribution and content environment the audience has grown to be more selective. Knowing that there is an offer for every taste, they demand that their individual need is being met. We deal with much more eclectic, individualized and diverse viewers who might still like some mass product, but also want their tailored services and individual benefit.
Technology enables us to distribute and watch TV content anywhere and when we like it. The same is true for the production site. Everyone can be a producer nowadays. This all contributes to the vast amount of content that is available and can be made available. There seems no end to what people consume; and as more they consume the more selective and distinguished they become in their taste.
What curation means to the industry?
This is now a key opportunity for each TV service, platform and TV channel. One can add value to its product by being the most trusted curator of TV content for the given target audience and subscribers. This will be a key USP for cable, IPTV, OTT etc services and Tv channels alike over the years to come. Whoever has the best content for a selected audience or subscriber group, will be the main player in that segment and hence is well positioned to monetize this position.
Curated TV is now also a driving force behind the growth of FAST channels. They are a great way of reviving linear TV and cater to an audience that is willing to consume ads and at the same time is a well-thought target for such ads.
While we see fragmentation all about and everywhere, the curation of TV content is just the contrary: bringing content again together in a meaningful, sensible and attractive format. This format is defined by the audience: we curate the content along the needs of a special market segment that our TV service wants to address; be it a niche OTT TV service or a thematic TV channel. The curator is the program director who completes the puzzle on behalf of his audience. The curator is the trusted manager of the preferred content type, of scouting relevant sources and bringing it all into context. Like a Chef who masters the creation of a well balanced, nourishing and enchanting set of meals, the Curator is becoming the artful, experienced master of content selection and presentation.
In this context I am also predicting that we will soon see ‘mega-curators’ or ‘mega-aggregators’ who will curate for the user the content across linear and non-linear offers. This can become a huge market and whoever is at the pole position in that market will control both audience and content. I see such potential also with the likes like Facebook but Apple is a typical contender for such a role as well as Google. It can, however, be also a chance to any media company or any company that targets a certain theme and audience. It provides a chance to become the gatekeeper for a digital tribe and aggregate and curate content around that theme and demography.
The Golden Era of TV is yet to come and curation is a driver. You should get ready to jump on the bandwagon. If you require assistance in curation and aggregation for your TV service, do contact us,
In my next upcoming article I will share some thoughts on how content is curated and what is required to do good content curation.Report this