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Why young viewers are ditching TV content and what can we do about it

Traditional means of consuming information are out, and that’s a fact. But television is still considered as one of the most popular and trusted news and entertainment sources across many world markets. However, in recent years the popularity and dominance have been challenged by the revolution in digital information. The advancement in technology and seamless internet access has enabled us to find everything online. You can find a digital version of the magazine you forgot to buy it, or check a detailed weather forecast at any time. Even occasional fun times at land-based casinos among adults have declined because now you can play from the comfort of your portable device. Traditional games like poker and slots have redefined in the online presence, adapting the themes and offers for different audiences. For example, if you’re into futuristic, retro cosmic themed games check Starburst at SlotsWise, as we’re sure you’ll be surprised how different games are, compared to the land-based options.  Young audiences and millennials find their needed info and trusted sources online – a behaviour unlikely to change in the next years.

Mainstream tv shows and bulletins have never been tailored and created for children, and now when young people are given more choice, they naturally choose platforms that speak to them. Whilst confessing that impressive audience figures from the 90s will never return from those peaks, world journalists from famous broadcasting studios consider ways in which television news can adapt to ensure it remains relevant in the future.

Innovate and test new approaches

In order to gain insights and understand the needs of your potential audience, you have to put yourself on a serious testing period, and that’s exactly what some media houses did. They designed different content approaches while keeping some traditional programme that has only been tweaked in a few segments. After months of following the data and audience behaviour, they found out that the key difference between programmes is not so much about the content, but the way that it is presented.

The research also suggested that new media formats such as short video trailers, IGTV videos and creative visual design are indeed more attractive to this generation of audience. However, on the other side of the coin, this generation has the power and potential to alienate mature, existing audiences. Moreover, they’re not aware of it, because the norm of normal and usual might be a cultural disruptive shock for mature generations.

Where young people are sourcing news on platforms that aren’t curated, where it’s difficult to identify sources and where info is fake and spanned, let’s empower them with the critical skills they need to question what they’re seeing, reading and hearing. A recent search showed that one in five youngsters up to 22, has an active social media presence, and 77% of this age group already have a YouTube profile. For teens exposed to various digital platforms from the moment they’re born, they should be developing these skills throughout their education.

Re-think the content strategy

While being present online, it’s very easy to exist in filter bubbles, where debates are unbalanced, speech is harsh and often uncensored. We need to create spaces at home, school and online where younger ones can safely access, discuss news and learn to respect different opinions. It’s crucial for them to be curious and ask questions about a world that often doesn’t make sense.

Where shows and news stories are long-running and complex to understand even for adults, young people will fall behind and disengage. Every content can be presented in an accessible way, providing clear background and clarify which reports are facts and which opinions.

After discussing the need for wide ranges of stories and tailored content, here are recommendations for creating a product that will feel different and innovative enough to attract a new audience. First of all, you need to have a consistent, creative-driven and motivated team. Have on mind that over-reliance on fast turnaround reports could limit your creativity for presenting the content, so consider changing the presenting format. Last, but not least, TV content in the future will need to be primed for video-on-demand interfaces like Amazon and Netflix, so your audience can filter and access different content wherever and whenever they feel like doing that.

What TV shows should look like in the future? A dual approach that confronts with itself and not with the competition is the key. Simultaneously, focus on areas of opportunity, i.e. things television can do better than any other medium. This way, TV journalists can break free an appeal to a new generation of content consumers.  

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