Last year there were only 559 original scripted TV series on broadcast, cable, streaming, or otherwise. Expect a lot more in 2022, according to the lates annual projections from FX Networks "Peak TV" analysis. That means a new record.
This year Netflix plans to spend around $17 billion on content -- original and/or acquired programming. Expect Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, Peacock, Paramount+ and all the rest to be around the $10 billion mark.
For years, FX Networks Chairman John Landgraf has expressed worries about how all these new shows would be able to promote themselves to generate sampling and draw an audience. I'm less concerned. Many networks and streaming platforms continue to innovate how they use on-air promotion, social media, or other forms of advertising and promotion.
Streaming platforms offer a more targeted effort, especially by leveraging their users' previous viewing history. Like those rom-com movies on Netflix? You can be sure Netflix will fill your inbox with new suggestions. All this comes from the first-party data it collects, which is a much more accurate way of targeting than what traditional TV networks have had in the past.
If they can’t find you that way expect to see some big display and/or video promos for new shows when you open their app on your phone or your big screen TV.
Meanwhile, on-air promotion of legacy TV programming on TV networks continues to climb.
For the three months ending July 31, networks have aired 13% more national TV program promos (1.7 million spots) and 10% more impressions (248.8 billion) versus the same period a year ago, according to a MediaPost analysis iSpot.tv data.
Where does this go from here?
Well, FX Networks, for one, believes at least when it comes to new original TV scripted shows those numbers will start to decline. Previously, FX projected original scripted shows would peak in 2018 or 2019. So far, it hasn't.
FX Networks may be right this time around for one main reason: The streaming business is maturing. This comes from knowing all major U.S.=based legacy TV companies have all started big streaming platforms over the last three years.
Could there be other players, especially "digital-first"ones, ready to take the plunge? Could Google, Facebook, TikTok, or Spotify enter the race for original scripted TV programs, at scale?
Maybe, but probably not during the uncertain near-term economy.
Until then, consider those new scripted TV series suggestions, via your streaming platform, carefully. More are on the way.