“What’s on the tele today?” The question that this generation never have to ask
As with any other product, picking audiovisual content entails a decision time for each user. Before the arrival of VOD (Video On Demand), it was enough for viewers to sit on their sofas and press the red button on the remote to turn the TV on, as the programming was already set. As archaic as it may seem, you had to be on the sofa in front of the TV the day your favourite programme was broadcast or you simply missed it.
Now the industry has become an up-to-the-minute culture, with Netflix, HBO, Prime Video and many other platforms starting meaning we can watch our favorite content, anytime anywhere. No more waiting for months to see how that series ended because, suddenly, the entire season is available and, of course, with no need to buy it or rent it. However, as we face this ‘perfect plan’, with an overwhelming offer, we begin to ask ourselves: “What are we going to watch today?”
The ambivalence of which Netflix is already aware
According to a Nielsen report, an average adult spends 7.4 minutes a day trying to make up their mind on what to watch on streaming services, for a total of 45 hours per year. In other words, it takes us almost the same time to have a shower as it does to go through the catalogues of the platforms which we are subscribed to. Looking at the suggestions and not quite deciding on anything is, in fact, an all-too-common habit. Netflix knows this and, therefore, has already launched a linear programming channel. It has been available in France since last November.
Although the natural path of free-to-air TV is to place its content in on-demand formats, Netflix, has gone the other way. It is a way of making decisions for the user and a strategy to show its new content to those users who do not feel like searching around, but instead accept the surprise factor and trust the provider’s criteria. Netflix’s project is still in the testing phase. So we’ll see if it will work only as a pilot or as a long-term investment.
The path of platforms in Spain
It is true that the ambivalence felt when consuming audiovisual products is as a determining factor that could play in favor of free-to-air television. However, the reality that traditional television faces, and for which it has been moving for some years to retain its audience and win over the younger audience, is that the households in which there is a subscription to streaming video services (OTT), the traditional consumption of TV decreases.
Atresplayer Premium numbers grow every month and now exceed 250,000 subscribed users, with the premiere of series such as Veneno, a commitment that demonstrates the importance of adapting to other formats and the paradigm by which there are governed: here and now. Of course, Atresplayer is not the only attempt by traditional television channels in Spain: LOVEStv is the new television platform (Atresmedia, RTVE and Mediaset) that aims to improve the experience of viewers and integrate all available content.
The shift in television consumption is undeniable, even though there are still some unknowns as to where viewers’ preferences regarding the format will end up turning. Will one model end up dominating over another or will it be hybrid? What formula will we use to decide what to watch each night? The truth is we do not know, but, as always in Canela, we will keep our remote control close, waiting for what may happen next on our screens.
 Informe de Kantar Media de 2019.