Coming Soon...The Most Scripted TV Content Ever Produced


Table Of Contents

”Listen to audio version”


Can you believe that those in the 'know' are predicting that there will be even MORE scripted TV content to come over the next two years?  

And the reason why for this projected growth? Streaming Video On Demand (SVOD) services like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu will be primarily responsible based on their need for unique content to continue to capture subscriptions. In this blog, we look more into the reason behind this projected growth as well as the current state of scripted TV programming.



The Survey

In a November NATPE survey, over half (54%) of the members polled believed that the number of scripted shows available to consumers will increase over the next two years.

Some 75% of NATPE members believe the likes of Netflix, Amazon Prime Instant Video, and Hulu will be the biggest players in the scripted market in the next two years.

Even though viewers may soon be flooded with a glut of new show programming, and budgets for the shows are thought to likely decrease, almost half of the members polled believe that scripted television series QUALITY will INCREASE.  But then again, half don't.  


So Why NAPTE And Who Are These People???

The National Association of Television Program Executives (NAPTE) is a professional association of television and emerging media executives that was founded back in 1963. 

NAPTE is best known for its yearly (very fun to be had) conference which is typically held somewhere exciting - Las Vegas, New Orleans or in 2016, Miami.  It is "the only American programming market serving the worldwide television community as well as one of the top new media and technology conferences." People who attend include media buyers, broadcast and cable networks and channels looking to acquire programming, program distribution companies, financiers, advertisers, technology companies, and content producers.  And even product placement agencies who go to find out what the next big shows are and broker early deals for branded content!


The State of Scripted TV Content Today

At NATPE last year, scripted content burgeoned with new titles available around the globe. In a report commissioned by FX Network in 2014, and written about recently by Entertainment Weekly,  "in 2015, networks and streaming services had a record 409 dramas, comedies, and limited series — and that’s not even including unscripted shows or TV movies. Digging into the data, the number of scripted series this year was up 9 percent over 2014, and has doubled since 2009 — while network ratings have, on average, declined."

The article goes on to say "If you assume each show is 13 hours (which is really conservative given that many hour-long broadcast dramas have 22-episode seasons), that would mean there were 5,317 hours of potential scripted TV to watch this year." 

And all of this content is getting sold internationally to other markets - and the licensing rights to produce local market spinoffs are being sold in record numbers to other SVOD distributors who need content to support their subscription bases.


The Concern

As scripted production increases and more TV shows are available to be watched, the question arises: "watched exactly by who?", as there are not more people watching TV content.  That means the actual number of people watching each show is lowering - and for ad-supported networks like ABC, CBS, CW, FOX, NBC, and most cable networks EXCEPT HBO, Showtime, and Starz, they just can't charge as much per ad.  And if they can't charge as much per ad, then there is not as much money to pay for really high-quality content.

SVOD and pay cable is really the only winners here, as the subscription-based model isn't reliant on each show having a set number of ad spots sold within it.  And the content they are producing is extremely high quality and quite frankly in most cases, solidly absolutely good.

But it's not just SVOD that is getting in on the binge-watching streaming phenomenon - the networks are too.  As an example, CBS is making a new chapter of Star Trek just for its own SVOD service in 2017.

And that's not all - foreign market TV from the UK and beyond is gaining major traction in the U.S., further dwindling the audience base.   

But There Are No Ads For Brands On SVOD (Or Are There...)

So the glaringly obvious fact that should come to light is...wait - these SVOD streaming services don't run ads!  So what is a brand marketer to do?  And the answer is... become part of the content through Product Placement and Brand Integration!  The show producers WANT brands to come on board because it helps offset their production costs.  In the case where the producers OWN the content they are creating, the cheaper they can make it for means the more money they reap when they sell it.  And that is where brands can win.  Take a look at our blog on why productions use product placement.

Is Product Placement right for your brand?  Watch this video to learn more about how this marketing practice works, what brand categories it works for, and the results brand marketers see!

Watch the video to learn what is Product Placement