Business case studies No 171 - 31.03.2017

How to attract millennials with authentic content and an innovative distribution model

As media consumption habits shift and young people have a multitude of media channels available at their fingertips, broadcasters are trying to cut through the noise and engage this target audience with TV and radio brands.

This week’s egtabite features a multi-channel, cross media project developed by the radio station P3 in Norway. P3, the youth-focussed station of the public broadcaster NRK, has a strong online presence and found a way to connect with a young audience by producing the innovative show Skam, which has become a massive hit across Scandinavia and beyond, especially among millennials.


Skam (English: Shame), an emotionally intense, true-to-life web and television series, follows a group of Norwegian teenagers as they navigate life’s challenges, such as sexuality, school, drinking, depression, rape and even religion, be it in real life or online.

The broadcaster was looking for a way to bring teenagers to the NRK brand. The idea and concept came from the kids' department, where they had previous experiences with web drama. P3 clearly defined the mission statement for the project, which was to help teenage girls to strengthen their self-esteem through dismantling taboos, making them aware of interpersonal mechanisms and showing them the benefits of confronting their fears.

The storytelling and style of the series is very authentic and unique, mainly thanks to the creator (Julie Andem), who acts at the same time as writer and director, thus ensuring that the vision is realised exactly as intended and that the show stays true to its target audience and topics. It also feels very authentic thanks to the fact that the characters were created after the actors were casted to fit as closely as possible to their own personalities. The story line is constantly adapted, following feedback given by the actors and viewers, to be as realistic as possible.


The success of the series is also due to a very innovative distribution model and multi-platform format. First distributed entirely online, and produced by P3, subsequent series have aired on terrestrial TV. Every day short pieces of content (video, Facebook chats or Instagram posts) are published on P3’s website without previous announcement, at the same time as the scenes are set (Saturday night party, Tuesday school class, etc.). The whole episode is then uploaded on Friday on the web and also broadcast on TV.

Of course, all the characters have social media accounts on Instagram and Facebook, written by the creative team as part of the storytelling, to create deeper interaction with fans.

There was no promotion when the first series launched; the actors were asked to put a link to the P3 page on their social media profiles. The link was also sent to several young influencers and some of the actors who auditioned for the roles. It was purely based on word of mouth, and the idea was for teenagers to find the series themselves.


The series has become the most-watched web TV show in Norwegian history since it first aired in September 2015, averaging 1.2 million unique viewers during the third season (the average for the first season was 25,000). 98% of the target group (15-19 year olds) in Norway heard about Skam after two seasons. It also provoked a lot of response on social media and public debate due to the topics it tackles.

NRK confirmed that they are planning a fourth season, and the show has been picked up for a US English-language version called Shame. The show is gaining popularity in other countries, including China, Russia and France, where fans created subtitles on the original Norwegian content themselves. NRK also produced a podcast about Skam, which is independent of the show but takes advantage of the fact that people love to talk about it.

Why does this matter to egta members?

This egtabite exceptionally does not relate to monetisation opportunities around TV or radio content (as a public broadcaster, NRK does not carry advertising). However, it tackles an important topic of concern for most broadcasters: how to engage with the younger generation. For those channels who sell advertising, answering this question is the first step to a successful monetisation plan.

Even though attracting such a mass of fans was not P3’s main priority, thanks to the focus on authenticity and relevance for their target group the broadcaster managed to create content that is engaging for teenagers and attracts them to the NRK brand. Adapting distribution and storytelling to the way teenagers consume media seems to be the right way to reach out to this target group. This case once more proves the old adage that “content is king”. When it is real and relevant to teens’ daily lives, and when the distribution model fits their consumption habits, it’s the path to success!



» P3 Skam website (click here)
» Social media accounts of the characters (click here)
» Trailer for Season 3 (click here)


» Download in PDF (click here)


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