Research: SVOD Wakes Up to Reality

Reality was the second-most commissioned genre for linear services and third-most commissioned genre for video on-demand (VOD) services, according to research from Ampere Analysis on commissions, renewals and cancellations in 2019.

Data from Ampere indicates that Netflix has ramped up production of reality content compared with previous years. While in January 2018 Netflix had four original reality TV shows available, by year-end 2019, the number had grown eightfold to 32 original reality titles, with dating show “Love Is Blind” among its top-performing shows in Q1 2020.

Other findings include:

  • The most commissioned genre in the United Kingdom and the United States in 2019 was documentary, with one-off commissions a frequent occurrence. Documentary represented 31% of all first-run series ordered in 2019.
  • The second most commissioned and renewed genre was reality — at 14% of all commissions in 2019.
  • In total, 337 reality shows were commissioned in the United Kingdom and the United States.
  • Comedy closely followed reality and was the third-most commissioned and renewed genre. Almost one quarter (23%) of shows are yet to begin series production, reflecting the longer production period required for scripted series. First-run commissions accounted for 67% of all series announced in 2019 — this means shows being ordered for a first season, including limited series.
  • Most renewals were reality (24%), with comedy (17%) and documentary (17%) following closely behind.

Linear versus VOD findings include:

  • Renewals in 2019 are skewed towards linear commissions, with linear series representing 85% of all U.K. and U.S. renewals in 2019.
  • High-profile unscripted linear renewals included 19th and 20th season order for MTV’s U.K. Reality series “Geordie Shore,” and a 17th season order for NBC’s music competition show “The Voice.”
  • In 2019, linear channels cancelled 515 shows while VOD services cancelled 151. However, this is slightly skewed by the cancellations of series with a predetermined limit on the number of episodes. Once these shows are removed from the analysis, data shows that linear channels cancelled 178 shows, while VOD services cancelled 66.
  • 65% of linear renewals were unscripted series, in comparison with just 25% of all VOD renewals, with streamers preferring to focus on higher-budget, scripted fare.
  • Reality was relatively safe from cancellation on both linear and VOD platforms — only 8% of all cancellations were reality.

“While reality has been a staple for linear TV due to lower per-hour production costs and continued popularity among consumers, VOD services have been increasingly investing in the genre,” said Ampere analyst Olivia Deane in a statement. “With Netflix already commissioning two more seasons of top performing title ‘Love is Blind,’ reality looks like it will be the next battleground for linear and VOD services.”

Netflix Announces Unscripted Lineup, Including New Series From Marie Kondo

Netflix has announced new and returning unscripted shows.

“Rhythm + Flow,” “The Circle” and “Love Is Blind” will all return with second seasons premiering in 2021, along with a new series from decluttering expert Marie Kondo (“Tidying Up With Marie Kondo”).

“It’s been incredible to see Netflix members everywhere respond to the raw, authentic stories of real people and real stakes,” said Brandon Riegg, Netflix VP of nonfiction series and comedy specials, in a statement. “We pride ourselves on creating a favorite show for any taste, and we’re thrilled fans embraced all of these series with such enthusiasm and shared passion. We look forward to sparking more joy for our members.”

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New series “Sparking Joy with Marie Kondo” features Kondo and her team setting out to tidy one small town in America (visit TidyMyTown.com to nominate a town for Kondo’s mission).

Returning series include:

  • Rhythm + Flow” season two, in which judges Cardi B, Chance the Rapper and Tip “T.I.” Harris return, looking for the next hip-hop sensation in the music competition series (auditions are now open at RhythmAndFlow.com);
  • “The Circle” seasons two and three, in which host Michelle Buteau returns as all new contestants and catfish enter “The Circle” vying for a $100,000 prize in a game where anyone can be anyone (casting is open at TheCircleCasting.com); and
  • “Love Is Blind”seasons two and three, in which hosts Vanessa Lachey and her husband Nick Lachey again ask the question if love is blind as new singles prepare to enter the pods for the dating experiment (season two is currently casting in Chicago with season three).

 

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