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Rose-tinted spectacle

Jeroen DepraetereJeroen Depraetere, head of television and future media at the European Broadcasting Union, outlines the changing trends in television programming ahead of the annual Rose d’Or Awards in Berlin tomorrow.

European television, and especially public service broadcasting, is experiencing exciting times. The business of television as we knew it is no longer. As a matter of fact, all facets of television have changed the market and a new TV landscape has emerged. More than ever producers and broadcasters must be creative to conquer the complacency of the audience.

The digitisation of audio content has turned television programmes into a commodity that can be watched on different platforms. No longer can television be experienced only in the living room on a television set. Technology has empowered the audience to access whenever and whatever video content it wants to watch, wherever.

Viewing habits are shifting from linear to on-demand, especially with younger audiences. They still watch television content, even more than previous generations, but they watch it on their mobile devices. Traditional linear broadcasting in general will never disappear, but it has to reposition itself relative to the growing importance of SVOD or catch-up services.

The quest for local content by global SVOD players like Netflix or HBO brings additional financial means to local producers, who are in a creative fight to win the favour of the global mayors and the audience. This battle brings better scripts, better production value and professionalisation of the European TV landscape.

The repositioning of linear programming boosts creativity among producers and broadcasters, who have a major challenge to develop new distinctive formats that attract large audiences to the traditional television screen. Entertainment producers are looking for formats that unite families and nations and become the talk of the town the following day.

Producers and broadcasters are searching for the next The Great British Bake Off or the next The Voice that appeal to different generations and give a boost to their programming schedule. The success of such ‘family’ formats has also been noticed by SVOD and OTT services and currently they are also looking for such entertainment content that would fit their catalogue.

The current trend in television remains undoubtedly the craze of drama series. So many series are being offered on all platforms that audiences do not know what to binge-watch first. Next to the Nordic international successes, Belgian and French drama series are being savoured by an international audience or by US producers for a remake.

Every year, the European Broadcasting Union’s Rose d’Or Awards recognises the best radio, television and online entertainment programmes from the previous year, defining the gold standard of excellence and achievement in entertainment programming, and celebrating creativity in the audio-visual industry on an international level.

The 2016 Rose d’Or Awards will recognise the best in entertainment programming in six categories for television and online video (Reality & Factual Entertainment, Game Show, Comedy, Sitcom, Entertainment and, new for 2016, Drama Series) and five categories covering radio (Comedy, Talk Show, Music Show, Event of the Year and, also new for 2016, Audio Stories).

In the 55 years since the Rose d’Or awards started, the television industry has changed significantly, new players have professionalized the market and recent technology has turned video into a commodity. Nowadays, new formats from all over the world can be watched over the internet with a simple click.

The Rose d’Or Awards take place in Berlin on September 13