Few television products are as popular today as Turkish soap operas. The two large private television networks in Spain, Telecinco and Antena 3, have opted for both series, Love is in the Air and Woman, to retain your audience in key segments of the night (prime time and access prime time, the previous hour). The success has been so resoundingWoman around 20% of share to each broadcast) that other media have tried to get on the boat. Other written media.
The phenomenon. This is the case of La Vanguardia, the reign of SEO for some time now and of new consumer formats in which the press has pinned a large part of its hopes, such as Discover. It has begun to broadcast minute by minute, as if it were a football game, what happens in each episode of Love is in the Air. Have a dinner out and can’t watch your landmark Turkish series? Problems from a grayer past. Today you can read the series live on a specific broadcast of La Vanguardia.
The tone. Trace that of sports broadcasts. It brings together descriptive passages (“Ferit brings together all the businessmen of the company. It must announce what has happened with the tender”) with contextual recapitulations (“Let us remember that Eda’s grandmother disinherited her son due to disapproval of his love for a woman he did not accept “), adding excerpts from the script (” Eda’s grandmother threatens her !! ‘The future of Serkan Bolat and this company is in your hands.’ “.
It is a complex art. It is not easy to transfer the narrative tension of an audiovisual product to paper. Much less in real time.
Why? La Vanguardia is not alone. Media such as Mundo Deportivo (because yes: the adjective “sports” has lost all its meaning in the era of social networks and viral content) are following the same strategy. The most direct explanation is the new sources of traffic handled by the press. Between 2015 and 2018 or so, Facebook and other social networks were the biggest growth vector for the media. Mysterious headlines and spectacular news, just like Impact TV, who tricked the algorithm and positioned themselves at the top of the timeline.
A series of catastrophic misfortunes and the conscious withdrawal of Facebook put an end to that dynamic. The traffic (because it was never “audience”) evaporated. In its place appeared Google Discover, that battery of articles that appears in your personalized Google tab. The platform selects the news menu of each user based on editorial criteria, personal preferences … And on the immediacy, on search terms that are exploiting or very popular topics. And what is the most popular every night? Turkish soap operas.
The turn. That is, Google interprets that there are many people eager to consume content related to Love is in the Air. And prioritize articles about the series in Discover. For La Vanguardia and Mundo Deportivo, the simplest and most direct way to enter Discover and access Google’s captive audience is with live broadcasts, like a football match, yes, but also like a Twitter timeline where new information appears every minute. It is pure dopamine. And above all, it is very easy to produce content.
We don’t read. In the past, the specialized media covered series and films afterwards. A chapter was broadcast and a critic valued it. Not too many years ago the most popular format was “recap”, summaries of what happened the night before. Today we consume in a much more impulsive and direct way, a consequence of the frying that our brain has been subjected to by social networks, in addition to having “a la carte” programming that has expired the role of the specialist. If you can’t see it, you don’t want to waste time reading a summary.
You want to read it live.
The logic. It is something that journalism has been doing with sports for many years. The radio “carousels” served the listener to follow the development of the day due to the physical inability to watch seven games at the same time. Its transfer to television (La Sexta was a pioneer here) was rare: those programs served the viewer who was not a subscriber to the pay channel on duty, but without image rights the mere presence of an announcer in front of the camera (and a lot of label) it degraded the experience. Parallel gatherings completed the rest of the time.
Fever. Perfect or imperfect, the meaning of those programs was the same as that of the live broadcasts of Love is in the Air: take advantage of the massive interest in content that is not yours and that you do not own. Talk about it all the time, in an endless loop of related content. Exactly what we do in networks to each viral controversy … Or what Ferreras does with each political event. Let’s remember: Antena 3 and Telecinco have broadcast their Turkish soap operas on three consecutive nights. In prime time.
It is a phenomenon of colossal proportions. And it generates related traffic. Somehow it will have to be exploited.