There’s no denying the continued success of reality television. Over the past 15 years, the genre has grown from a small niche to one of the most popular forms of entertainment in America today, with shows such as The Bachelor, Survivor, and American Idol bringing in millions of viewers each year. But what makes reality television so successful? And why are people still watching it after all these years?
Is there an Increase in Competition?
As viewers, our access to great content has never been greater. This may seem like a scary thing to those producing reality television Reelcraze shows. However, there’s no need to panic. Just because more people are watching television than ever before doesn’t mean that you’re fighting for an audience with every show on TV.
In fact, as a general rule, there is still plenty of competition out there when it comes to programming hours; networks and cable channels are not just playing one reality television show against another they’re also trying to draw in viewers from Netflix and Hulu and social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
Is There a Rise in Production Costs?
As production costs continue to rise, it’s becoming more difficult for producers to keep reality shows fresh and still sell them at a reasonable price. Producers have had to make tough decisions when filming since some shoots can cost hundreds of thousands and even millions to produce.
For example, in order to help fund one show, producers had to reach out to a wide array of outside sponsors; without these sponsors, they would have never been able to cover all their expenses. Now many reality shows don’t even try and film live shows anymore. Instead, they just shoot a couple of episodes per season and fill in with clips from previous seasons.
This allows them to save money by not having to pay for expensive travel or accommodations as well as saving time by not having to worry about editing together full episodes from multiple shoots. This means that viewers are less likely to be engaged with current events on reality television because it feels like nothing is new or fresh.
Instead, viewers are watching old clips on YouTube and social media sites rather than tuning into TV every week. However, despite these changes in how programs are filmed, there has yet to be
any decrease in viewership numbers over time because people love being able
Watch TV whenever they want rather than having to wait until a new episode airs each week.
Is There an Increase in Viewership Rates?
In 2009, according to Nielsen ratings, approximately 14 million Americans tuned in to watch American Idol’s eighth season. In 2011, only 9.3 million viewers watched Fox’s X-Factor. Even more, telling us that in 2010,
when NBC eliminated its popular singing Reel Craze competition show success
The Sing-Off, it decided to air another show with a singing competition format The Voice.
While there are many factors that go into network executives’ decisions regarding
which shows stay on the air and which get cut from their lineups, none have proven to be as influential as social media participation rates.
Are Audiences Becoming More Demanding?
Long gone are the days when audiences would watch any piece of television they could get their hands on. Technology and the proliferation of options have made viewers more demanding than ever,
and it’s up to creators to keep them entertained with fresh new content. Audiences expect engaging stories, multi-dimensional characters, and higher production values in their favorite reality TV shows.
Some producers have failed to deliver with recycled formats or repetitive storylines. And audiences have taken notice—goodbye Jersey Shore, we hardly knew ye! To ensure success in today’s competitive climate, it’s essential for reality show producers to stay one step ahead by creating new ways for audiences to interact with their content; it not only helps raise interest but also brings these shows into modern times.
Can Industry Players Capitalize on this Trend?
Although most reality television is short-lived and attempts to capitalize on it often result in failure, there are some examples that have become iconic brands. For example, Survivor has been on since 2000 and continues to produce seasons even after 20 years because it relies heavily on viewer participation.
Viewers can not only vote out players but play online games with them as well. With so much interactivity, viewers feel more invested in their favorite contestants’ success, increasing viewers’ interest in subsequent seasons of a show and spreading awareness about it through word-of-mouth.