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C21’s Formats Report 2017

 

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The global formats industry is an ever-changing beast, where expectations are high, both creatively and financially, and the industry’s pioneering old guard are finding themselves losing market share to aspiring Young Turks (both metaphorically and often literally) that have picked up the ball and are running with it.

Things have certainly changed from the heady heights of the late 1990s and early 2000s, when the entire television industry seemed to be dominated not by specific programmes or genres but by ideas – ideas that had lucrative local iterations and changed hands for millions of dollars.

But if anything sums up the new reality for developers of original TV formats, it is the recent news that US network ABC, rather than take a punt on a new unscripted idea to freshen up its schedules for next season, instead opted to revive a 15-year-old talent show that was a hit on a rival network.

In this new C21 Pro report, C21’s editorial team has come up with the biggest trends that are currently sweeping the sector. Some you might be aware of, others not, but either way they’re impacting your business and should be reflected in your format strategy going forwards. The 21 chapters in this report will be published here over the coming weeks.

Report chapters:

New era of formats
The format sector was once dominated by the UK, the US and the Netherlands. How things have changed, writes Ed Waller in the final part of this report.
China rising
China’s relationship with the format industry could be described as complicated, swinging from copycat country into format frenzy then into format freeze.
Tipping point
Could CEE’s formats business finally be about to switch from being a wholesale importer of IP to an exporter?
Alternative views
With The Wall and World of Dance, NBC's fledgling production arm Universal Television Alternative Studio has wasted no time in making an impact.
Comedic timing
Commissioners at Sky, BET Networks and Bell Media offer their take on what’s working in the international comedy landscape.
Germany’s journey
C21 investigates how Germany made the transition from format importer to format exporter and what other nations can learn from it.
Calling off the search
The hunt for the next global hit has obsessed the industry for decades. But the pressure is now easing and we can get back to making domestic hits.
Latin learnings
Three markets dominate Lat Am’s formats industry, meaning tough competition but also opportunities for both domestic and international players.
Size matters
As broadcasters bemoan the pitfalls of working with ‘megaindies,’ is a new band of production start-ups ready to steal business?
American revival
As digital players push further into unscripted content and networks return to it, is the genre entering a new era in the US?
A buyer’s market
The format industry relies on buyers taking risks. Here eight of them give their take on what they want and what’s working.
The Japan paradox
Japan has for decades been exporting plenty of formats but importing very few. How is that done and what’s in the development pipeline?
Indie ascendancy
With the UK still leading the pack in global unscripted formats, how is consolidation transforming the country's production industry?
Tough times
Getting more bang for your buck is one thing, but the big talking point in US unscripted is whether the independent sector will survive at all.
In touch with reality
Virtual reality might be on the verge of reinventing the entertainment industry but will it, and can it, be applied to formats?
Multi-platform maze
The path to multi-platform success is littered with failed formats, but that hasn’t stopped new hopefuls from entering the fray.
Kids in control
Children's formats, and kids' talent shows in particular, are becoming increasingly prevalent in primetime schedules around the world. Gün Akyuz finds out why.
Experimental methods
The battle for viewers has taken programming ideas and formats into strange new places, but audiences remain fascinated by social experiments.
Paper chase
The need for broadcasters to stand out from the crowd has led to the re-emergence of the paper format as a route to increased creativity and originality.
Joining brands
Advertising agencies, with their deep pockets, are eyeing formats like never before. But how could such funding deals work?
Format futures rise
C21’s Formats Report 2017 kicks off with the results of our annual survey into the state of the industry, revealing some eye-catching trends.