Future TV: Escapism is changing storytelling – why TV shows must become an immersive experience

Never has the need to take a break from reality been greater, yet increasingly we choose to let reality seep into the modes of entertainment we usually use to escape. We want to connect more, relate more, and understand more, and so we are seeking more progressive opportunities for escapism. So perhaps escapism doesn’t actually exclude engagement in reality.

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Escapism is no longer the realm of fiction

Escapism is the reason people tell stories and have told stories since the beginning of time. In TV production, escapist storytelling was once the realm of fiction and high-production value shows, but things have changed. Whilst audiences today are still seeking to escape, they are now demanding greater authenticity at the same time.

Viewers want to increasingly feel part of the experience. A camera crew following around a glamourous celeb no longer satisfies the audience desire for authenticity and emotionality as a part of escapism. Instead, they seek out shows that shine a light on real moments and programming that fulfils their desire to be educated and inspired as well as entertained.

In a break away from traditional notions of escapism, audiences today are increasingly attracted to factual, unscripted and docu-style shows. Likewise, gone are the days when broadcast and cable networks could dictate what, when and how we watch. The average time spent with traditional media is predicted to decrease by 5.7% in 2021, a decline largely attributable to people spending less time watching traditional TV.

Audiences want more control and are choosing to escape by watching a new generation of content creators delivering fresh ideas, fresh, untold, and underserved stories. High production value also doesn’t mean as much, especially to young audiences, when we are so used to consuming content on small devices and making our own content.

I recently spotted a quote from a TV production exec that went something along the lines of what made a successful show used to be down to three things - casting, format, and execution. But in today’s landscape, freshness is key. No wonder the likes of Amazon and Netflix are significantly ramping up their original content offerings.


A fresh approach to storytelling with UGC

When it comes to storytelling in 2021, diversification of both talent and production count.   The user-generated content world is the place to be for producers looking to make fresh, original shows.

In the UGC world, everyday a new star is born and a new story is waiting to be told. UGC is an invaluable storytelling tool because it is unparalleled in terms of its authenticity, connection, and relevance to the audience, whilst also being unparalleled in its ability to be truly immersive. It captures otherwise unseen and untold moments in raw and exciting ways that simply cannot be created, and as such helps to deliver truly compelling escapist storytelling narratives and the deeper connection to the action audiences crave.

In terms of production itself, UGC is a low cost but high profit alternative to traditional TV making. It’s the chance to dynamically respond to the new escapist TV agenda with compelling new stories and fresh viewing experiences.


Respond to the new genre of escapist TV production with Newsflare

Audiences want to actively in engage in reality to escape. Newsflare offers a continuous supply of fresh content and the opportunity to get more of the shows audiences want into production quickly.

We specialise in sourcing and verifying videos of every genre and format to production companies around the world. You can search and license from 250,000 videos filmed by our diverse community; we'll help you find the content your production needs or crowdsource content by putting our 45,000 creators to work on bespoke footage for your production. 

Get in touch to find out how to license videos from Newsflare.

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