Never has the name ‘Operación Triunfo’ done so much justice to the well-known talent-reality show. The program, together with the platform that broadcasts it (Amazon Prime Video), has as its faithful objective lay the foundations by taking a stab at DTT with a format that until now they had exploited for two decades.
‘OT 2023’ is not the first reality show to be broadcast on streaming, although it is the first of the large formats and it emerged in 2001, a year after the success of the father of all reality shows, ‘Big Brother’. And the truth is that On paper, the idea seems at least right.. And we are already beginning to verify it.
A format that only needed streaming to try
A fresh Carlos Lozano, pardon the redundancy, welcomed a new and ultimately revolutionary format at the beginning of the century. ‘Operation Triumph’ made its first appearance at The first of TVE (it was not yet officially called ‘La 1’) and would remain on the grid of the free-to-air public television network until its third edition.
How much has it rained since the first triumphs and the now legendary song ‘My music is your voice’ (Image: RTVE)
In 2005, already in the fourth edition, Jesús Vázquez took over from Carlos Lozano and Telecinco from TVE. Mediaset took over the rights to a program that It already experienced a supposed definitive end in 2011. What was already the eighth edition of the format in Spain closed early before a disastrous audience already exhausted after 11 uninterrupted years of broadcasts in an edition that, with Pilar Rubio at the helm, intended to give fresh air to a format that was already exhausted.
In 2017 we experienced a second boom with ‘OT 2017’. A completely renewed format that returned home, again on La 1 and this time with the Sevillian Roberto Leal as master of ceremonies. Such was the success that not a year had passed and ‘OT 2018’ was already born on the same network.
‘OT 2020’ was the last edition of the program on open television (Image: RTVE)
In order not to burn the format again prematurely, the format was given a one-year break, returning with an edition that had to be paralyzed for a few months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If it was already a lower audience edition, this pandemic break caused it to achieve the worst audience records in the history of the format, both in screen share and number of viewers.
This week the twelfth edition of the format began its journey and the first in streaming through Amazon Prime Video. Chenoa, who was the fourth classified in the first edition and now an established singer and presenter, is now in charge of being the master of ceremonies of a format in a field to explore.
Television has been evolving and so have we
During this time in which different editions of ‘OT’ have been happening, everything has changed. Free-to-air TV was opened to DTT fifteen years ago, streaming has been gaining ground for almost a decade and hence free-to-air audiences are no longer what they were before. Not even in the formats that now bring together a greater share of the screen.
Evolution of audiences for the editions of ‘OT’ from 2001 to 2020
This is something we observed even in ‘OT 2017’, the “modern” benchmark for the program’s success. Its 19.7% screen share is not by far the best in the format, nor is its viewer data. But of course, we have changed too.
You could say that the new generation of ‘OT’ is also aimed at a new generation. To a generation of audiences that no longer consumes as much open television and may not even consume it at all. To the TikTok generation that lives up to its name by “living” on social networks and that has its entertainment in streaming.
Relying on social networks and other platforms was already the order of the day
Renewed or die It is a slogan that permeates practically every area of our personal and professional lives. At the business level too. If a television producer wants his program to be profitable, he must know how to adapt to the times. Gestmusic, producer of ‘OT’ belonging to the Endemol group, was aware of this.
‘OT 2023’ section in the Prime Video app
So, Already in the 2017 open edition we saw clear signs of modernization in view of relying on social networks. Much of the success of the edition was fundamentally due to social networks, where the official accounts of the program not only dedicated space and time, but also promoted it so that the viewer felt involved.
Because programs of this caliber are not just your weekly gala broadcasts, but they are much more. And in times when we want to be aware of absolutely everything, offer a free 24-hour channel It is also key to success. Because yes, we already said at the beginning that ‘OT’ is a talent show because in the end that is the essence, but it also has a lot of reality.
To this is also added the participation and direct decisions of the public via app. ‘OT’ offers a mobile application in which not only is content in the form of video, images and text about the contest offered, but also the possibility of choosing favorites or expelling contestants. In fact, they are the fundamental pillars. That Prime Video has also welcomed and multiplied it.
At the moment, almost everything is advantages
‘OT 2023’ has started with a completely dedicated Amazon Prime Video. This is how we see even a section on the platform dedicated to the program. Although at this moment excerpts from complete performances and so on are missing (something that may be added later), the truth is that it looks quite complete.
24 hours of ‘OT 2023’ channel on YouTube
In that section you can watch live or delayed galas and special programs. Not only do they continue to offer the free 24-hour channel on YouTube or the application with identical features, but in order to keep the program on everyone’s lips every day, they will also broadcast a daily magazine from Tuesday to Saturday, as well as a special program with the contestants every Monday after the gala (the program heir to what was once called ‘El Chat de OT’).
Although if there is one advantage that everyone seems to agree on, it is that Advertising breaks are eliminated and the duration of the galas is reduced following a rigorous schedule. The latter is something that has been highly criticized in recent times, since prime time in Spain has been getting longer and it is not uncommon to see stellar free-to-air programs that begin around 11 at night and end around 1:30 p.m. early morning.
A prime time of only 90 minutes, without ads and that ends before midnight is the long-awaited dream of free-to-air TV and that Prime Video fulfills with ‘OT’
In ‘OT 2023’ they promise 90 minute galas without interruption. The first gala broadcast yesterday (Gala 0 as it is officially called) was the only exception because it lasted beyond midnight, but from now on, every Monday there will be a broadcast that will begin at 10:00 p.m. and end at 11:30 p.m. And yes, without advertising breaks and with extra content in the post-gala program for those who can afford (and want) to stay up a little longer.
However, it must be said that the frenetic pace is also scary and it remains to be seen if it is a matter of getting used to it or if everything is really too compacted. Although yesterday’s gala was longer than it usually will be, seeing the artists perform one after the other with barely more than a pause for Chenoa to ask them a regular question, left a certain feeling of overwhelm. Maybe it’s a novelty thing…
Lucas, ‘OT 2023’ contestant, with Chenoa during gala 0 (Image: Amazon Prime Video)
Now, we will not deny either that whether we like it or not, ‘OT’ has become payment. Yes, the 24h channel is still free on YouTube, the Prime Video subscription is one of the most profitable and many of us have it. However, it is obvious that what previously cost you zero euros to watch on TVE or Telecinco has now become a payment requirement of at least 4.49 euros per month (or 49.90 euros annually).
However, even in defect we can find virtue. Luckily, and I hope you don’t read me in case you change your mind, You do not have to pay extra to be able to watch ‘OT’, but rather it is integrated as another content on the platform. And this is something that may seem obvious, but with some content it does not happen and the best example is that second division football can also be seen on Prime Video, but after paying 9.99 euros per month as an extra to the standard subscription. .
Likewise, saying that Advertising may invade ‘OT 2023’ broadcasts at some point. The arrival of ads to Prime Video for 2024 has already been officially confirmed and, pending seeing in what quantity and how often they will appear, it cannot be ruled out that it will begin to happen already in the final stretch of ‘OT 2023’. Luckily within the bad, Prime also announced that you can pay an extra to remove ads, of 2.99 dollars in the United States and that perhaps it can be approved in Spain with similar figures of 2.99 euros per month.
Whether ‘Operation Triumph’ succeeds is something we will only know at the end.
Anyone who has experienced working on television up close knows how overwhelming it is to wait for the next morning’s show. This is the audience data that the program had and that in more and more cases is crucial. Television networks have run out of patience and it is increasingly common to see cancellations with just a couple of broadcasts. In part, it is even normal seeing how streaming hits them.
The new contestants of ‘OT 2023’ (Image: @operaciontriunfo on Instagram)
On Amazon Prime Video, as on other platforms, there is no public, daily audience data. There are studies that show certain trends and even the platforms themselves announce some data on active users with some quarterly regularity. However, There are no detailed audience records for each program. Therefore, we may never know how many people have seen ‘OT 2023’ or a single one of its galas.
In streaming, although it is also beginning to notice the harshness of cancellations, there is usually more room. A program of this magnitude involves a high investment that will be borne by the production company and Amazon as owner of the rights and obviously no one wants to lose money, but it would be rare to find an early cancellation.
The key to everything will be for Amazon to study the evolution of the format in these months, to analyze to what extent the impact is positive on its subscriber accounts and if they can at least do so. consider it as an investment that will be amortized with future editions. For now, and from the viewer’s perspective, everything has started well.
The ‘Sálvame’ docuseries is one of the recent cases of ‘theft’ from free-to-air TV streaming (Image: Netflix)
If there is finally triumph with the triumphs, It will not be far-fetched to imagine a ‘Survivor’ and even a ‘Big Brother’ via streaming. Cases that are somewhat more specific than ‘OT’ due to rights issues, but in essence, perfectly transferable to this field. And if not, tell the collaborators of the extinct ‘Sálvame’.
Because ultimately, what ‘OT 2023’ implies at Amazon is open a war against traditional television with what has been its goose that lays the golden eggs for a long time. With less success in the last decade and some rare exception like ‘Temptation Island’, the doubt about whether this type of format is still interesting is on the table, but… what if what really doesn’t interest is the form? classic of consuming them?
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