The volume of formats commissions/productions in Asia continues to drop, there is still strong support for well-loved inexpensive classic titles, and the appetite for scripted series in on the rise with streaming platforms driving demand. In ContentAsia’s Q3 2019 Formats Outlook, Aqilah Yunus tracks titles and trends across the region.
Format commissions in Asia continue to drop, sliding 7.7% in the three months to end September compared to the same three months last year. ContentAsia’s ongoing Formats Outlook counted 275 formats on air or commissioned during Q3, compared to 298 in Q3 last year.
The Q3 decline follows a grim story for the first half of this year, during which format production/commissions dropped about 11% compared to first half 2018. And first half 2018 was 12% down on the same six months in 2017, for a total drop of 22% over the past two years.
For the three months from July to September, five of the 16 markets we tracked were up, five were level and six were down. The biggest gains were in Indonesia, which picked up seven titles compared to the same quarter last year. The biggest falls were in Korea, which dropped from 16 last year to 10 this year, and Malaysia, which went from eight to five.
Although it dropped another six titles, Vietnam was still in the lead for the three months with 49 formats, followed by Thailand (45), India (36), Indonesia (29) and China (24).
Indonesia comes out on tops in acquisitions, increasing by 31.8% compared to Q3 2018. This is attributed to multiple seasons for long-running formats such as Fremantle’s Let’s Make A Deal.
Although second in to Vietnam in volume for the quarter, Thailand fell the most, dropping 13 titles for a loss of 22.4%. Some of this can be attributed to a growing confidence among Thai producers that they can create and format their own shows.
ITV Studios-owned Talpa Media was the biggest winner for the quarter, overtaking Endemol Shine to close September in second place on our leaderboard with 45 titles behind top formats vendor, Fremantle. Endemol Shine fell into third place, with 42 formats.
Fremantle maintained its lead position with 50 formats on air or commissioned during the quarter (see page 72 for full rankings). Classic long-running favourites are still a strong performer for Fremantle, which has seven versions of Family Feud on air, led by the 23rd season of the property in Indonesia – a Fremantle stronghold.
Talpa’s stellar rise was driven by multiple seasons and versions of singing talent show, The Voice; at the end of September, 33 different seasons were either on air or had been commissioned, including 16 seasons of flagship show The Voice, 11 seasons of The Voice Kids, two of The Voice Teens and four of The Voice Senior.
A rise in singing formats – led by The Voice as well as strong support for Mask Singer – runs alongside a continuation of positive sentiment towards scripted formats. Scripted was up 2% year on year. Game shows dropped slightly. Reality was also down, from 27.3% of the total last year to 23.6% this year.
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Published in ContentAsia's Issue Seven 2019, 29 November 2019