24 June 2016
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Dancing to a new beat: bringing the next generation of talent to the TV screen

In this week’s egtabite, top television shows meet the rising stars of the online world. Sweden’s TV4 and the French broadcaster TF1 have both integrated emerging talents as contestants in their versions of the Dancing with the Stars format, or Strictly Come Dancing, as the original UK show is known.

TV4 casted Toni-Prince, a star from the broadcaster’s own Multi-Channel Network (MCN) ENT Networks, in Let’s Dance, while TF1 brought the vlogger EnjoyPhoenix into Danse avec les stars, a choice of candidate that was well matched to the show’s female-leaning audience profile.

Crossing rising stars from digital to broadcast

Toni-Prince and EnjoyPhoenix represent a new generation of stars who have emerged with the democratisation of media brought about by online video, largely driven by YouTube. With their young, engaged audiences and natural integration of video with social media platforms, these talents are increasingly attractive to broadcasters.  TV helps these young stars to gain additional popularity and generate additional viewers for their digital activities, whilst bringing them on linear TV allows to attract younger audiences to the shows.

In Sweden, Let’s Dance is historically strong in older target groups, and TV4 has in recent years featured younger contestants who have built their own large social media followings in order to broaden the appeal to a new generation of viewers. Following TV4’s launch of ENT Networks, it was natural for the broadcaster to cast from within. This strategy not only increases the appeal of its own talents, making them more commercially marketable and giving ENT Networks an edge over rival MCNs in the competition to sign up new stars, it also clearly helps the broadcaster reach a younger audience.

By cross-promoting both from the talent to Let’s Dance and vice-versa, TV4 was able to strengthen ENT Networks and thus the total offer of TV4 Group. While the show overall did not quite match the performance of the previous season across all target groups, the casting of Toni-Prince was considered a big success; in the target group 15-24, the programme achieved an impressive 44.33%, and the star broadened his own audience and increased his social media following.

Commenting on Toni-Prince’s participation, Edward Dahlbäck Rörström, Head of A&R at ENT Networks said, “It’s of utmost importance and a major key for the success of our MCN, both content wise, as well as commercially to be able to cross-fertilise our talents and content with our strong linear channels. The participation of Toni-Prince in Let’s Dance (Dancing with the Stars) is a perfect example of this competitive advantage.”

For TF1, the inclusion of EnjoyPhoenix – a young vlogger specialising in fashion, beauty and lifestyle – contributed to strong viewing figures for Danse avec les stars in the 15-24 target group. The show maintained a high audience share for this target at 41%, and it occupied five of the top 10 TV entertainment show rankings during the broadcast period.

EnjoyPhoenix was the second most followed candidate during the season, racking up 4.4 million video views, and the EnjoyPhoenix dansera avec ... was also the second most watched bonus video, with 140,000 views.

It’s also worth noting that shows like these allow online stars to recognise the huge reach television has, compared to vlogging. At the recent Festival of Media, in Rome, EnjoyPhoenix shared her thoughts on how the newly acquired fame brought by TV influenced her daily life: “Not only teenagers were watching me anymore [...] on the street, not only young people but their parents too, were suddenly recognising me [...] it was 5 Million viewers every Saturday night […] I wasn’t prepared for that!” (video here)

Why this matters for egta members

The emergence of MCNs as a valuable component of broadcasters’ digital strategies, and the ability of talent to cross from the online, social environment into television programming, offer proof that TV and OTT platforms truly are complementary.

While stars and personalities have always been one of television’s greatest strengths, broadcasters now have the possibility to harness the engagement and youthful enthusiasm of audiences that are drawn to talent in the online space.

Cases like this show that creativity and modernized content can keep young viewers excited about big-screen TV long into the future.

Target: TV
Background info

Please click on the links below to access the relevant documents:

» TF1 website (please click here)

» TV4 website (please click here)

» EnjoyPhoenix at Festival of Media, in Rome (please click here)

Download in PDF

Please click here to download the PDF version of this egtabite.

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Next events

» Annual Marketing & Sales Meeting (TV & Radio)

13 October 2016
Budapest, Hungary