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Tracing The Adaptation Origins of Global TV Content

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Tom Blackman Senior Analyst

TV adaptations are a big business that constantly shape the global content market.

In recent years, there has been more and more emphasis on the intellectual property (IP) of TV Adaptations, from the likes of Amazon, HBO and Netflix bidding for the rights to the upcoming Lord of the Rings series to the renewed interest in reviving well known TV Series such as “Magnum PI” or “And Just Like that…”. With both broadcasters and streamers keen to capture fanbases and distinct series ideas its becoming a very important trend to follow. Show Tracker however, will soon have the all the vital information as we begin to track the type of adaptation of all shows in our dataset, classifying them initially from Original Concept, Literary Adaptation, Film and TV Adaptations plus many more.

Currently, the highest proportion of shows captured by Show Tracker are Original Concepts and Literary Adaptations making up 46% and 24% of the total percentage of TV adaptations, nearly half and nearly a quarter of shows respectively across the past six annual seasons. With literary adaptations being the second most popular type of IP to base a series around it’s no surprise that many TV rights are being sold and made into TV shows so shortly after the release of the source material. This is partly because developing books into TV series is a relatively low-risk affair due to already recognisable IP, making it a guaranteed way to capture established audiences. With more and more production studios competing to have the best original literary adaptations, content acquirers will need to keep a close eye on who's acquiring what, and at what stage, to inform their decision-making to stay on top in this increasingly competitive field.

The next most popular source of IP’s are TV Series themselves, which not only include revivals but spin-offs and international show formats too, with popular shows such as The Good Doctor being a remake of the Korean series of the same name. While not yet as popular we’re tracking series on Podcasts, Video Games and Toy lines which we know to have a fair few upcoming TV Series commissions each.

Show Tracker can also show how the adaptation types have been sold over time, with the ever popular Literary adaptations steadily being sold more every annual season. However, even more abrupt is the rise in popularity of TV series based off of other TV Series, showing the number of acquisitions in a year doubling over a four year period. Again, similarly to the rise of literary adaptions, this helps to show that the demand for success-proven content in the TV market Is growing rapidly. With the Streaming Wars launching, and the desire for more content still in a lot of services minds many are sticking to concepts that are proven popular already in the TV sphere.

Another interesting metric for us to consider brings up a combination of Show Tracker features, the new adaptations and our genres list. By looking at all the based on real life adaptations and comparing it to the number of crime shows we can show trends in true crime series over the years. But while the number of overall acquisitions of crime shows have drastically increased over the last 6 annual seasons the percentage of those that are true crime has only increased from 10% to 15%. Given the popularity of true crime original shows on big studio streamers, that could be having an impact on services acquiring the same type of content.

In the increasing rush for production studios, streamers, broadcasters and content acquirers to find original and literary-based content, being able to track IP rights and acquisitions across the global TV space has become essential. Tracing acquisitions and adaptions across metrics such as time and genre are just some of the ways to look at the original IP’s of TV series but Show Tracker has many more.

Show Tracker is an essential tool for the TV industry, which monitors where TV shows are being sold around the world and the rights attached to each deal. Tracking over 1,400 TV shows and 350 different services in 19 markets, it provides a unified view of the distribution market. Show Tracker gives you data you can trust to drive your strategy forward and give you the edge in negotiations.

Find out more about Show Tracker

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