We’re deep into the 2010’s and the way in which we consume content has changed forever. Broadcasters and content owners are fighting for eyeballs in a saturated market where consumers are watching their favourite shows on different devices across a number of platforms. To target millennials and younger generations, who generally consume short bursts of video on YouTube and social media - particularly Snapchat, Instagram and now IGTV - media companies are creating more and more authentic stories and are using platforms that are compelling for this demographic. Unlike generations before them, they have totally new video viewing patterns and ideals.
As well as changing viewing habits, millennials’ have changed production values and have a major influence over the television genre that non-traditional content creators - like Insight TV - are making. This is partly due to the fact that they care less about material worth and more about life experiences. Our philosophy at Insight TV, is to provide this experience through interesting, relatable, creative content anytime, anywhere, through any device. Millennials respect the social influencers that they watch on YouTube in the same way that older generations looked up to actors and musicians. They want to travel the world, experience life, document their travels on Snapchat and Instagram and perhaps pick up several thousand followers along the way. Research that Insight TV has conducted has shown that this demographic is much more willing to dictate what they watch, where and when. For generations gone by, TV was a lean-back activity; we had to watch whatever was shown by the broadcaster at the time that they scheduled. Millennials want authentic content that relates to their lifestyles, friendships, aspirations and experiences and they want it available online and on television 24/7.
As a result, we consciously moved away from creating game shows and adventure reality shows, which tend to be overproduced and don’t reflect the values of most millennials. Our production philosophy, and also our partnerships with brands like Monster Energy, has allowed us to explore this further, creating authentic content based on inspirational characters, highlighting topical issues and experiences that are important to younger generations globally. Apart from featuring high profile must-watch super talents, we make shows based on sports, lifestyle and ecological topics that focus on the individuals behind the theme at a grass roots level. We tell their stories, documenting the sacrifices they have made and the journey they’ve travelled to achieve their dreams.
A good example of this is our latest joint production with Monster Energy, a 13-part series of life-affirming short films called Born To, which tell emotionally-charged stories of talented and successful athletes at the top of their game. Each episode of this stunningly visual show follows the personal story of triumph over defeat, highlighting the individual’s passion, drive and motivation. The series includes the story of Sweden’s Emma Dahlstrom, a freestyle skier at the top of her game. Derailed by a couple of untimely knee injuries during her rise to the top of her sport, she reasserted her dominance over the rest of the women’s field by winning her category at the 2015 Winter X Games. In the show, Emma shares what it takes to overcome injuries and how to return to competing at the highest level.
We also recently commissioned Travel with a Goat, a provocative new series that looks at the ethics around eating meat. The show doesn’t judge how people live or how they consume meat, its aim is to raise awareness of how we - as a society – know so little about our meat industry. It’s about the decisions we make without being aware of what goes on behind the scenes. We’re asking people to look in the mirror, and to ask themselves difficult questions with honesty and humour.
As well as creating compelling content for different platforms, quality and delivery are important considerations when targeting this demographic globally. We know that millennials watch the majority of their content on YouTube, but they also appreciate the stunning visual imagery that UHD and HDR deliver. The interesting juxtaposition is that this generation is buying bigger and bigger TVs with UHD and HDR technology, but they have no problem watching poor quality videos on their mobile phone.
We create all our content in UHD HDR and we’re very hot on ensuring that we maintain high standards and give viewers an amazing experience both editorially and visually. In some cases, we’ve rejected several versions of a show before we’ve signed off the final master. When shooting in HDR, any tiny flaw in the picture is exaggerated.
When a show is wrapped, we process the raw format rushes. We never shoot lower than 10bit except for occasional editorial action shots. These shots must be placed strategically in the edit to blend with the native UHD HDR as much as possible. It’s also important to strategically place the use of light and dark shots because the human eye tends to adapt quickly to what it sees.
To ensure that millennials around the world can access our content using simple-to-navigate app-based technology, we’re partnering with consumer electronics companies such as Samsung and LG Electronics. Our channel is also available in HD on the Amazon Channel SVOD and linear TV service in the UK and Germany and in UHD and HD on many other platforms around the world. A clear benefit that Insight TV provides is ownership of our content and our willingness to enter into co-production partnerships in the regions and territories in which we operate. We know how important it is for us to provide authentic compelling content to differentiate ourselves and we’ll continue to develop our brand to ensure that millennials in every country can access the exciting unique content that we create.