The latest Ofcom Media Nations report shows a 12% decline in time spent viewing TV and Video – the biggest ever annual fall – with viewing levels now 16% lower than pre-pandemic levels. Among younger people, the drop is even steeper, falling 21% year-on-year for those aged 4-34.

VOD subscriptions also under pressure: 66% of households now use a streaming service, down from 68% in 2021, with the rate of take-up slowing and business models changing to reflect consequent pressure on finances – for example, Netflix is now taking advertising.

It’s not just the platforms themselves that are facing increased irrelevancy; Ofcom’s analysis of the content that viewers watch in the UK makes for difficult reading if you are in the mass entertainment business:

The number of transmissions achieving ‘mass audiences’ is in steep decline. In 2014, 2,490 transmissions attracted more than four million TV viewers, but in 2022 there were only 1,184 – a 52% drop. Transmissions attracting more than six million TV viewers fell by 82% over the same period, from 1,172 to 213

These numbers are indicative of an existential threat to the linear content industry, which will force platforms to both create new forms of content from new types of supplier and for new platforms. As pressure increases on business models it will require platforms to use advanced tech to reduce production costs and create new business models.

Platforms – whether advertising or publicly funded and whether linear broadcast or VOD – are going to have to find new ways of engaging with their audiences to remain relevant and commercially viable. They will have to embrace the opportunities provided by the new digital technologies that support our increasingly on-line existence. They will need to create new forms of content on new platforms that have viewer engagement baked into them rather than as add-ons to traditional content.

They will need to:

  • Create new forms of entertainment and informative content driven by the immersive technologies of the gaming world – photo-real digital creation and rendering, VR and AR and generative AI
  • Fully leverage the audience engagement power of social media
  • Create new business models that harness the power of graph databases, blockchain and transactional technologies to tailor content to individual viewers.

Metaphysical Developments is here to help make that happen!