Less ‘thriller’ and romance, more miniseries, sports, anime, ‘western’ and non-fiction: the socioeconomic context readjusts the television genres most in demand by the public after the pandemic

With the widespread consumption of video on demand the viewer has become the master of his own entertainmentbased on the offer proposed by the platforms you have contracted.

This is a partial freedom, conditioned by the available catalogue, the recommendation systems and the marketing campaigns that accompany the releases. In viewing decisions, moreover, there is a Fundamental subjective factor: the viewer’s emotions and the surrounding context.

In this sense, the last three years have been a concatenation of vital challenges for the population that have been reflected in the genre of the most demanded television content.

The emotional factor

The emotional factor is actually a two-way street. What one sees conditions the mooda phenomenon analyzed at an academic level that explains, for example, why viewing comedies or happy movies is followed by much more positive moods than those who watch a violent drama or movie. The process also works in reverse, that is, content is viewed or discarded based on how the viewer believes it will influence their mood.

The need to “disconnect” after a long day at work or wanting to see something that makes us laugh when we are a little melancholic is the most visible face of this phenomenon.

This emotional componentin fact, it has increasingly taken into account when improving the user experience. This is what guided, for example, the netflix decision to shorten the footage of the trailers so that the client could get an idea of ​​the content much faster than with a normal footage trailer.

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Still from 'The Crown'

Sports, miniseries, non-fiction, western and anime, pandemic-winning genres

The situation experienced by the population in recent years and its influence on mood have had a clear projection on television consumption trends. This is confirmed by data from Whip Media, obtained from the habits of users of the TV Time application around the world. According to the consultant, the type of audiovisual escapism that was sought during the pandemic introduced certain changes that now, in the midst of the economic crisis, continue to gain ground.

post-pandemic genres

The first year of the pandemic was highly conditioned by the inertia of the star genres. The domain of thriller (and its different subgenres), drama or action is reflected in overwhelming consumption statistics year after year (between 70-90%, according to Whip Media).

The specific weight of these genres within the catalogs and the high demand from the public is still evident today. As Jeni Hatfield Benhain, Head of Client Solutions at Whip Media, points out, “given the massive popularity of these genres, there isn’t much room for growth.”

Is from 2021 when a change begins to show that slightly leverages the classic genres and increases the demand for products not so popular up to that moment. The needs of a population plunged into a state of uncertainty, monotony and weariness they triggered discovery and, by extension, growth in the niche and in the subgenres.

“Everything indicates that this growth will continue,” says Hatfield Benhain, who especially highlights the increase in the consumption of sports content, driven in his opinion by “the great popularity of series such as ted lasso Y Cobra Kai along with several docuseries on the lives of famous athletes and teams, such as The Last Dance either Formula 1″.

The popularity factor also helps explain the miniseries rebound. The boost that the genre has received, thanks to products such as Inventing Anna, Maid, White Lotus, Mare of EasttownY The Dropout, It is obvious. There is another factor, beyond the phenomenon series and the stories they deal with (which is quite diverse): the tired of classic television formulaswith several seasons and episodes per season.

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Naomi Watts as Nora Brannock in 'The Watcher'

The pandemic also raised the escapism through the lives of others. It is the basis of the great popularity of non-fiction formats whose upward trend has also continued now, in times of economic crisis. For Jeni Hatfield Benhain, there is another element that should be taken into account, directly related to the provision of this type of content.

“Nonfiction, including reality and contests, saw its consumption increase because in a pandemic they could be produced much faster than fiction”. The demonstration of its success explains the continuity of this trend, linked to the reinforcement of its production. “Platforms have already embraced this type of genre that allows them to offer a product that appeals to users”.

The data from Whip Media also shows significant upturns in subgenres such as anime (driven by series like one piece, Attack on Titan, My Hero AcademiaY naruto shippuden) and the westernwith series like Westworld Y yellowstone as flagships.

The new year is just around the corner and the most anticipated TV series are much more aligned with the classic genres than with these emerging genres. It remains to be seen if consumer demand will succeed in prevailing and continue feeding this new orbit of interests as far as television genres are concerned.