What is your latest binge watching enjoyment

PEOPLE
DO
MEDIA

The "wood media" are a dying genre in the digital age - predictions of the imminent end of the printed newspaper must be taken seriously in view of the rapidly falling circulation figures. Linear television is also being predicted more and more frequently - with reference to the rapidly growing video-on-demand market. Until 2021, predicts media economist Klaus Goldhammer from Goldmedia at the media meeting point in Central Germany in Leipzig at the beginning of May, this market will grow by an average of 27 percent annually. VoD fans cite the possibility of time-shifted viewing as a decisive advantage. They also appreciate the absence of pesky advertising. Most of the increased demand will focus on paid subscriptions with the “big gorillas” in the industry: Google, Amazon, Apple, Maxdome, Sky and Netflix. And he quoted Netflix founder Reed Hastings, who within the next five to ten years, analogous to the development in the USA, also wants to conquer a third of all television households in Germany - that would correspond to 13 million: "In twenty years the kids will ask: What should does that mean that a show starts at eight? "

An extremely ambitious goal, given the status quo. Only 17 percent of German TV households currently use online TV. After all, there are around five million VoD subscribers in this country, with a clear list of younger consumers. To diagnose a lack of prospects for conventional TV enjoyment from this now seems very premature. The recently published results of the study "Trends in viewer behavior" show for 2015: The hype about Netflix, Amazon Prime and Co. and their fantastic series is - measured by the TV consumption of the average Otto - richly exaggerated. Accordingly, Amazon, as the local VoD market leader, reaches just four percent of the population, followed by Netflix and Maxdome with two percent each. Marginal values, which, however, leave a lot of room for improvement in the future.

For the time being, the following applies: TV usage in Germany is still clearly dominated by classic linear TV. The average daily viewing time of the general population even increased slightly to 223 minutes in 2015. However, he loses
linear TV consumption among younger audiences. According to the figures from the Working Group for TV Research AFG / GfK, the corresponding TV net reach among 14–49 year olds fell by 3.5 percent to 61.6 percent in the period 2009–2013. A figure that doesn't sound particularly dramatic. However, the non-linear use via VoD or streaming portals did not develop as strongly as the increasingly broad offer.

According to the 2015 Digitization Report, the number of people who regularly use professional video offers on demand is increasing continuously. Paid subscriptions, however, still play a subordinate role. Most of these users choose free video portals such as YouTube, Vimeo or the Microsoft online service MSN Movies, closely followed by the media libraries of the television stations. The media libraries of the public TV broadcasters are ahead of those of the private TV competition. Exact data will only be available in the course of this year for the first time, when these offers are integrated into the AGF / GfK research. The focus is on the time-shifted viewing of favorite series and programs. But here, too, the relationship between linear and digital is usually clear: Münster's most successful “Tatort” reached an impressive 15 million viewers last year when it was first broadcast (plus repetition). In addition, there were 552,000 on-demand views in the media library. Noteworthy were the first attempts to put successful series such as “Weissensee” or “The Team” in the media libraries even before they were broadcast on TV. Series such as the Eifel crime thriller “Mord mit Aussicht” or afternoon soaps such as “Rote Rosen” and “Sturm der Liebe” regularly achieve high access rates. This does not even include the consumption of versions posted illegally on YouTube.
Countless special interest offers

One thing is clear: media use is likely to further differentiate over the next few years. The former purely internal competition between free-to-air TV channels is increasingly turning into a barely manageable moving image market with a multitude of new players and types of offerings. The fragmentation of classic television is increasing: in 2015 the market share of the “big six” - the first, ZDF, ARD-third, RTL, Sat.1 and ProSieben - fell below the 60 percent mark for the first time among the total audience. Increased competition arises from a large number of special-interest offers; Even the popularity of pay-TV, which has been stagnating for a long time, is increasing recently. The competition is also being fueled by major international players such as YouTube, Facebook, Apple, Amazon and Netflix. The established TV broadcasters are reacting to this development by attempting to get involved in the newly emerging market segment of non-linear television. Initially in the form of media libraries, their own video portals and streaming services from private broadcasters.

In this context it also becomes clear how overdue the transformation of the former license fee into the license fee was two years ago. "It no longer matters whether someone has a TV or a radio, our content must reach the user via all distribution channels," says Manfred Krupp, director of the Hessischer Rundfunk (HR), who is also chairman of the ARD exploitation commission ( see interview p. 9/10). However, the expansion of the online market is currently causing the physical market in the form of DVDs and Blu-rays, which was dominant just a few years ago, to shrink. If you can find the "crime scene" everywhere on YouTube, even such a premium product would be difficult to market. YouTube has long been the most frequently used channel for ARD's on-demand products. 70 percent of the moving images offered by HR, for example, are now accessed via YouTube, Krupp states, a large part of which, to his sorrow, is illegal. ARD has recently attempted to deal with this rampant video piracy through ID codes and blocking requirements.

The endeavors of the public broadcasters to be present on all channels are not limited to entertainment. In order to fulfill their information mission, various broadcasters have recently started digital projects with which special network-savvy users are to be reached. For example, the Berlin-Brandenburg broadcasting company has been expanding its existing regional online information offering with the rbb24 app since the end of April. At the beginning of April, NDR Info initiated “WhatsInfo”, a new weekly video format in which outstanding news is presented specifically for smartphones: in form
a chat dialogue, garnished with photos or video snippets. And one year after the start of “heute +”, in May the ZDF celebrated the successful cross-media networking of its young news format according to its own assessment. Needless to say, all the offers mentioned are present on Facebook and Twitter.
Private companies expand their digital business

The private TV companies are also expanding their digital offerings, partly in-house and partly through acquisitions. ProSiebenSat.1 markets internationally known YouTube stars such as Gronkh and Le Floid through its Studio 71 company, which was founded three years ago. Most recently, the majority of the multichannel network Collective Digital Studio (CDS) was taken over. Both specialize in the production of content for a more youthful target group. Even the RTL Group, which for a long time was comparatively hesitant in building up the digital business, has made a name for itself in recent years with several large acquisitions, including companies such as MCN Broadband TV, Divimove and
Stylehaul. Just a year ago, the group bundled its digital activities in the RTL Digital Hub in order to further expand its position in online video. With RTL II You, RTL 2 launched a new platform aimed at targeting young people with a streamed program.

A confusing variety, which, however, was partly born out of necessity. From the sender's point of view it would be
the amalgamation to larger alliances on a national level is actually necessary in order to withstand the aggressive market rush of international competition. But the platform “Amazonas” planned jointly by RTL and ProSieben.Sat.1 in 2011 failed due to the concerns of the Federal Cartel Office. Reason: The platform could have strengthened the dominant position of RTL and ProSiebenSat.1 on the German television advertising market.
The same thing happened to ARD in their attempt to set up their own platform for VoD together with ZDF and a dozen other cooperation partners under the name “Germany’s Gold”. This project was also prohibited by the cartel watchdogs in 2013 because they classified the planned joint marketing and the associated price agreements between the two institutions as problematic. Since then, the public broadcasters have managed to spread their offers via some private VoD providers and live stream services. For example, programs from ARD and ZDF are offered on the online platform Zattoo. Similar to linear TV, films and live broadcasts can be streamed in real time.

As already indicated, traditional television is not yet being displaced. However, it cannot be overlooked that the new players attract a much younger audience than the established broadcasters. According to the ARD / ZDF online study 2015, 53 and 58 percent of the users of video portals and streaming services are between 14 and 29 years old. In contrast, the proportion of those aged 50 and over is only 15 or 10 percent. The TV providers are making use of this knowledge by trying to address younger target groups via their media libraries or by increasing their presence on video portals. "ARD has more than 100 channels of its own on YouTube", Manfred Krupp estimates. Interestingly enough, this wide range of content availability has not yet led to the “cannibalization” initially feared within the broadcasters. It is not evident that users are turning away from traditional television to a relevant extent. The popularity of the individual product does not seem to suffer either. According to “Media Perspektiven”, this is at least proven by case studies by Nielsen from the USA, in which the publication of a TV program on Netflix or Amazon Instant Video was compared to the “ratings” of this program on linear television. There is still no valid data in this country. Netflix has not yet published its subscriber numbers in Germany. The US whiz kid is also silent for the time being about the specific number of hits for individual content.
Binge watching in this country too

After all, Netflix and Co. have already caused a significant change in viewing behavior among German audiences. The phenomenon of “binge
Watching ”is also moving into this country. What is meant is the chance to see entire seasons of your personal favorite series without having to wait for the next episode. The fifth season of "House of Cards" is expected to be eagerly awaited by fans of the series. Possibly with more impatience than the US presidential election. <<