Television formats and their impact on the music industry

If we talk about OperaciĆ³n Triunfo 2023 by Amazon Prime we see an interesting curve: in its premiere it was the most watched content in the history of the platform, and in official communication channels such as YouTube, it reached almost 100,000 users connected live to see the cast of songs.

The hashtags used in the old Twitter, now X and the optimal use of the TikTok platform make this edition the most viral without a doubt. Let’s not forget that in the case of audiences, more than 1,700,000 million unique users have consumed OT on Amazon Prime, which is a very positive data for the platform. Therefore, being the most watched content in the history of Amazon Prime, what is the future of music realities on television and streaming platforms?

TV has been for decades a great ally for the Music Industry; from its different formats have emerged artists who have subsequently become musical references in their territory or even internationally. Many of them, with the passage of time, manage to eliminate that ‘label’ of television product autonomously and focus their success on their musical career.

It is difficult, but not impossible. Do we forget that Julio Iglesias himself catapulted to stardom after winning the Benidorm Festival in 1968? His figure is so imposing that we do not even look back to analyze his beginnings, which he had, like all artists. The same happens nowadays with David Bisbal: with the path we have witnessed, who would say that he came out of OperaciĆ³n Triunfo in 2001?

The evolution of television formats and society, in constant change, made the ’90s live its maximum splendor with programs dedicated not only to musical interpretations, but also included training and professionalization of their contestants. The constant media exposure made us feel that we knew these participants, knowing what were their shortcomings, their virtues and above all being part of the artistic development of each of them.

At that time, the conversion of ‘success’ when leaving the screen, was done in records sold, media presence and concerts. The craze unleashed by the fan phenomenon at record signings and later in extensive tours, makes these artists sometimes even lose track of what is going on. Too many things, all at the same time and with one obligation: to release more music to feed the desire of each artist’s fans.

The visibility of this type of format does not go unnoticed by more established artists either. We have seen artists such as Maluma, SebastiĆ”n Yatra, Laura Pausini, Jennifer Lopez and even Miley Cyrus as judges on these types of programs (from The Voice to America’s Got Talent) as a way to reinforce their public presence, promote new musical content or refresh their image.

Even so, the novelty effect, both for the audience and for the artist, makes it necessary that these formats come and go, that they are not a constant in our television schedules so as not to lose the hook. This is the case of OT, its first edition in 2001 and its ninth edition in 2017 and after a 3-year hiatus; they have been the most successful editions. Between them there is a small difference: the weight of social media.

In 2017, together with that feeling of nostalgia for the return of the program, the need to adapt content and messages for an audience that no longer only consumed through the television, but also did so at lightning speed on platforms such as TikTok or Twitter, was perfectly understood.

This good use of social media has been an interesting social adaptation of the format, which goes a step further in this 2023 edition. With the plummeting use of TV and the new on-demand formats of platforms such as Netflix or Amazon Prime. It is the latter who bets on a novel format: its first live program through this platform.

A massive development that continues to take care of the social nature of the format, which continues to appeal to the masses as it connects with the way its audience consumes music today. Let’s not forget that this masterstroke by Amazon Prime also implies the exclusivity of certain content, forcing its consumers to be subscribers to its platform.

Is this a good model to follow for similar formats on pay platforms? Is this conversion to the social media world enough to anchor the artists of the future once they leave the TV formats? We’re looking forward to the next chapter, are you?