Viewership Numbers: Your Roadmap to TV Ratings
The second season of the Emmy Award-winning show Abbott Elementary premiered on ABC with 2.92 million people watching, but that figure only represents 42% of the people who watched the show in the first seven days after airing. Audience numbers are not always what they seem. While the average viewership for most scripted content on a broadcast or cable network is around 2.92 million people, streaming is an entirely different market, especially since this is a big source (occasionally the only source) of content for many TV viewers. The Hollywood Reporter looked at how the ratings landscape has changed in the last few years, and while analyzing data and speaking to sales executives, reporters found that viewership is not an easy thing to track. While on-air, first-day views have been the standard metric tracked, streaming has given a whole new shelf life to TV programs, so now companies are tasked with tracking these long-tail viewers. A lot of this data is not available to the public, but platforms like Netflix are becoming more transparent by sharing weekly lists of their most watched programs. Nielsen, the TV ratings measurement company, is now joining the space, hoping to attract companies with newer analytic offerings. Same-day ratings, which capture anyone watching a program the night it airs by 3 a.m. local time the next day, are used most often when discussing television viewership. While this number continues to decline for TV, sports and news are setting big expectations, as most total viewers watch live. For other scripted content, total viewers captured in the same-day ratings tend to vary from 40-50%. This is also because DVR, or digital video recording, remains used consistently throughout the years. But streaming (which makes up the largest share of television viewership in the U.S.) is still a great mystery, as viewership numbers are often shared on a case-by-case basis. With streaming changes underway and an influx of new data brought by new measurement companies, TV ratings are bound to look different in 2023.
$9 Billion in 2023: 33 Tentpoles May Increase Film Revenue
Movie theaters in the U.S. are still recovering from the COVID closures of 2020 and 2021, but the new year will bring a bump in revenue. While 2022 is anticipated to end with $7.4 billion in box offices sales, a new forecast shows that 2023 could bring in up to $9 billion—a 22% boost—on top of the 72% increase theaters saw in 2022 (from 2021). While the box office will remain below pre-pandemic levels (which reached $11.3 billion in 2019), these numbers are on the right track for a full recovery. Starting on February 17 with the release on Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, the anticipation is that there will be a for everyone, every weekend. 2023 has 33 tentpoles on the schedule, up 18 titles from 2022. This number tops 2019, which had 29 big films released that year. But looking beyond the blockbusters, 100 wide releases are set for the next theatrical year, but experts believe we will need this number to hit at least 120 before the industry reaches full recovery. The release of original films that are non-genre and not based on IP remains a studio struggle. This Christmas, Babylon and I Wanna Dance with Somebody both debuted under the radar. While executives are worried, they believe good content can bring in audiences back into theaters. While the pandemic pushed older adults and the 50+ demographic away from the movies, a good niche, distribution support, and marketing tactics can bring them back. This year, Everything Everywhere All at Once became the highest-grossing A24 film of all time by building a strong audience base, and the movie is anticipated to fare well in the awards season ahead. Going into the new year, the strongest takeaway from studio executives hoping to make original adult movies is to make them cheaper and shorter than you normally would. But with the new focus on this type of film, one independent film financier believes the coming years will be “a golden age of quality original films.”
TV in Spain: How the Country’s Incentives Attract International Producers
Spain is betting big on becoming a new key location for international TV production by increasing their tax rebate cap to $10.6 million per episode. On top of that, the total tax relief for movies and series has increased $21.2 million, and the deduction ceiling has been eliminated altogether. Once all these changes are approved by the European Union, they will come into play in 2023. They are expected to encourage those who scheduled a small shoot in the country to stay a little longer. The country already offers beautiful landscapes and incredible historical heritage as backdrops for fantasy titles like Game of Thrones, The Witcher, and House of the Dragon. Encouraging production to stay in the country has been the primary struggle. To combat this, Ciudad de La Luz (the biggest studio complex in Spain) just reopened in the summer. On top of the country's incentives, individual regions are joining in the fight to attract production. Spain’s Canary Islands have rebates that reach up to $19.1 million and Bizkaia offer a 70% incentive for films shooting in Basque Country province. This recent incentive increase represents the second jump since 2020 at the height of the pandemic. That bump doubled 2021 production revenue in Spain, compared to annual averages between 2016 and 2019. According to Spain’s film commission president, Carlos Rosado, “The new tax measures offer total legal security and guarantee our institutions’ commitment to the shoot industry as a strategic sector.” The new program not only puts Spain on the map but makes it one of the best international production locations. With a network of 38 film commissions and offices throughout the country, Spain is ready to welcome new productions of all sizes and assist with any of their needs.
Upwards Trend: Esports Will Continue To Grow in 2023
In 2022, competitive gaming connected millions of people worldwide, partnering with popular brands like Gucci, BMW, and Coca-Cola. But the popularity isn’t waning; 2023 will bring several opportunities in the esports arena. Overall, the market for esports—which is worldwide competitive gaming hosted in stadiums and broadcasted for wider viewership—is anticipated to grow to $1.9 billion by 2025. While esports grows, some industry executives also believe the industry will see some big changes. For example, in 2022, the Saudia Arabian government bought two of the biggest esports tournaments in a deal worth $1.5 billion. The government-backed Savvy Gaming Group plans to invest $38 billion in order to transform the country into an esports hub by 2030. Dominic Sacco, founder of Esports News UK, believes this deal will inspire more acquisitions and investments in 2023. But the location is also subject to political controversy, meaning esports gamers are still hesitant to embrace the location and travel there for events. And according to Naz Aletaha, the Global Head of League of Legends (LoL) Esports, the key to continued growth lies in the core fanbase. While going out and attracting new audiences, it is imperative that esports remains authentic and loyal to the existing fans as well. This strategy has been serving the game well, as LoL is one of the three biggest esports games heading into its thirteenth season. In 2022, players were competing for £1.8 million in the championship game, which was a huge event akin to the Super Bowl that featured pop star Lil Nas X as musical performer. Aletaha hopes the championships may become as big as the World Cup, as big events like this draw in casual viewers. The next step in growth is to introduce the world to the actual gamers so audiences can get to know the players’ personalities and create connections. Through this narrative storytelling, the audience will find new reasons to care about esports and root for their favorites.
New Year, New Streaming: Five Questions About the Changing Landscape
The world of streaming has seen a number of changes in the last year, and 2023 is bound to be a whole new ball game. Platforms are shifting their strategies from simply attracting new subscribers to sustaining their audiences. John Harrison, media and entertainment leader at EY, says that 2023 will be “an intensifying focus on profitability and free cash flow generation.” New battle tactics are about to be introduced into the streaming wars, which raises a few questions. Recently, Disney brought long-standing CEO Bob Iger back into the fold to replace successor Bob Chapek. This turn of events brings new hope for the company’s streaming strategy. Iger plans to scale back on content spend in favor of profitability, but the question of Hulu’s ownership is still up in the air. Chapek was interested in folding Hulu into the Disney streaming strategy, but with the recent executive shake up, the platform remains apart. Netflix has already made some changes by introducing an advertising tier. Next, the platform plans to tackle password sharing. Current data shows that the ad tier had a slow start but cracking down on account sharing has the potential to bring in a lot of revenue. Still, it all depends on how hard Netflix pushes back against rule breakers. The combined HBOMax and Discovery+ platform, which may debut in the spring of next year, also raises a few eyebrows. While this acquisition seems to hint at a general industry trend towards consolidation, details of the merger (like platform pricing plans or a name) have yet to be released. The amount of free ad-supported television (or FAST) grew in 2022 and other long-standing streamers are interested in this model. Will subscriber-supported platforms begin to dip their toes into FAST in 2023? Lastly, the new home for NFL’s Sunday Ticket is no longer cable or broadcast, but now YouTube. Will football fans flock to the internet video giant and help Google break even on this deal? We’ll find out in 2023.
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