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Predictions for 2024: A Transitional Year in the TV Industry

5 min read

This year is expected to be pivotal for the TV industry. Following a challenging 2023, the sector is experiencing a recalibration after an unprecedented level of spend on content and the talent to produce it, and the TV advertising spend over the last five years.

At the recent Royal Television Society event, co-produced by committee members David Amodio of Channel 4 and Odgers Berndtson’s Jules McKeen, the panel of industry experts explored key predictions and insights for 2024, with seismic shifts expected in what we watch, where we watch it and how content is monetised. A ‘fundamental reset’ is predicted, with a large-ranging impact on the industry for years to come. 

The sold-out event was chaired by Media & Technology Editor of The Times, Katie Prescott, with an illustrious panel of Patrick Holland, Executive Chairman, Banijay; Ash Atalla, CEO, Roughcut Television; Claire Enders, Founder, Enders Analysis; Dan Clays, Chief Executive EMEA, Omnicom Media Group and Evan Shapiro, Media Cartographer & Analyst.

The economic backdrop

The macro-economic outlook is challenging for writers seeking commissions and the armies of talented production crews also impacted by strikes, inflation, cost of living and commissioning squeezes from PSBs and commercial broadcasters. Their livelihoods clearly remain under threat. Large scale mergers and acquisitions this year have resulted in a volume of leadership changes not seen in many years; and as we look to 2024, there are rumours swirling of yet more movement to come.  

However, there is cautious cause for optimism. Dan Clays, EMEA CEO of Omnicom Media Group, predicted a 2% aggregate growth in TV spend in 2024, against a 4% drop in linear TV. Live and sports are propping up revenues for commercial broadcasters, and whilst subscription revenues are challenged, Netflix’s results are a glimmer of positivity in a market - particularly in the UK - challenged by the cost of living, inflation, and an unstable political landscape. 

Arguably, the US TV market is in a worse state than the UK, with the impact of strikes hitting hard, and programming schedules being filled in by tech companies with sports and live broadcasts, which have performed well. YouTube is the big winner and Amazon the one to watch.  

Generative AI remains a double-edged sword for industry leaders with opportunities such as amalgamating rushes and clips through AI, but with obvious challenges for workforces and IP ownership. 

What we’ll watch

The panellists agreed that in such an unpredictable, unsettling economic environment, TV would play the role of ‘comfort food’ with simple, old fashioned programmes like Gladiators coming back to the screen. Supercharging unscripted formats into shows like Traitors may herald a return to ‘whole family’ appointment-to-view, but the mid-tier of investment across the board will desert the schedules as commissioners look for tried and tested formats or A-list stars to guarantee the ROI.

Ash Atalla voiced a concern over the impact on comedy, citing ‘Big Boys’ as an example of a series which was slow to get pick up, but now is being viewed online and on catch-up for the earlier series. These changes need to be carefully considered in a digital first commissioning strategy.

How we’ll watch

YouTube is clearly the out and out challenger of producers and broadcasters, with 60% of four-to 15-year-olds now consuming content via the platform. The panel cited Channel 4 as embracing and monetising the platform with the result of bringing familiar IP to new audiences. TV marketing is still regarded as quite old-fashioned, with a consistent panel view that digital first really does mean factoring in social channels and platforms for both marketing - with Gen Z previewing key moments online first before investing in a whole episode - and for scale.  

As UK audiences typically watch five hours of video content per day, they are viewers at risk of moving platforms and out of any branded walled gardens, such as children’s TV moving to Cocomelon on YouTube. Monetising those channels and deciding where they encourage new, younger viewers into the whole channel experience will be key.

Looking ahead

2024 is due to be a pivotal year in the industry, as media companies battle for attention and share of wallet not only with viewing platforms like Netflix, Amazon, and YouTube, but with gaming and social media providers too.

How it adapts to retain wealthy older viewers while pulling younger viewers into an increasingly alien environment to them remains a challenge.  


Odgers Berndtson’s Media and Entertainment Practice has a long-established track record of placing transformational talent in industry-leading roles across media and entertainment. Our global network and full coverage of sector and function ensures our clients can futureproof their executive and board to shape the future of entertainment. 

Get in touch. Follow the links below to discover more, or contact our dedicated leadership experts from your local Odgers Berndtson office here.



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