Machine translation obtained using Elia by Elhuyar
Yearbook 2023-24 | Unai Iparragirre Torre (ETB-ko zuzendaria)

The areas that have undergone profound changes in the last decade have been diverse, but have varied little as much as the consumption of audiovisual content and, above all, so quickly. Globalization and digitalization have revolutionized the audiovisual world in a short space of time and, above all, the pandemic, which forced us to stay home for several months, revolutionized the consumption of content.

Netflix came to our lives in 2015. At the level of the Spanish State, almost 18 million viewers met every night in front of traditional television to watch the prime time or main time sessions; today the number of viewers has fallen to 13 million, almost a third less. On the other hand, half of Spanish households already have Netflix subscriptions – and the Prime Video platform is more exposed in households.

All this has led to a decline in the audience of traditional television channels. Last year ETB1 fell 0.1% in share and ETB2 dropped 0.2%. Antenna 3 and Telecinco, despite much higher budgets, recorded a larger decrease: Antenna 3 decreased 0.5% (5 times more than ETB1) and Telecinco lost 2.1% shares (21 times more than ETB1).

And where have all these viewers gone? Many thematic channels (in the Basque Country they have increased 16% in the last 5 years) and more to online and digital platforms (where consumption has doubled). The change in the way content is consumed has been mainly by young people. According to a study by EITB on the consumption habits of Basques, YouTube and digital platforms have become the main supports for young people to see their contents all or almost every day, and traditional television has fallen third.

As a result of this situation, and taking into account that EITB must serve the whole of Basque society (and not only traditional content consumers), the development of the digital audiovisual strategy was initiated, opening a new stage of native media and products for the digital world. We are television, we are radio and have been on the Internet for decades, but it is clear that the guarantee of content in Basque and Basque in the new consumption and digital media is part of our function as a Basque public audiovisual group. And it is clear that everyone, but especially the new generations, has their mobile phones or computers as their main screen – and EITB also has to adapt to that reality.


Euskera and the contents of Euskera in the center

In this strategy of adaptation to the digital world and new forms of consumption, EITB focuses on five elements. First, focus the contents on Basque and Basque. Secondly, the use of advanced technologies to ensure a comfortable user experience. Thirdly, to connect children under 30 with digital consumption in Basque. Fourthly, adapting to the mass consumption of mobile phones. And finally, be experts in video and audio content.

This reflection has already produced its first results and some new digital products are underway – others will be launched in the coming months.


BIKAIN: digital window open to contents in Basque and Basque

As part of the Digital Audiovisual Strategy, last September saw the new streaming service PRIMERAN, a digital window open to contents in Basque and Basque. The new platform offers films, series, documentaries and children’s content – free and with new content every week. It includes proprietary and exclusive content produced specifically for PRIMERAN, such as the thriller Itxaso, set in the surf world, the program of humor monologues Altxa Comedia, the fitness program FitEran presented by Iñigo Vicens and the imminent premiere of Das-Tattoo, a program starring young Basque cooks and their tattoos.

The HOBERAN project created a great expectation since its inception and the Basque streaming platform was born with great welcome. The presentation was made before a broad representation of Basque cultural agents and over 60,000 people were registered in the first 4 months. By the end of the year more than 6,000 sections of content were presented, with the aim of increasing the number of contents and providing them with quality content, for which the collaboration, alliance and collaboration of the Basque audiovisual sector is essential.


It should be noted that in addition to the contents of EITB, the PRIMERAN platform also offers content from partners such as the association of local media in Basque Country TOKIKOM, the Basque Filmoteca and the Guggenheim Museum, and in the coming months will also be the ones of the Basque Culinary Center. The idea is to sign agreements with other partners in the coming months and make them a showcase for new and young creators of Basque content in the near future.

Now: new digital news service for young people

In December 2023 was born ORAIN WHATSAPP, the public service information system via WhatsApp. NOW WHATSAPP is an experience framed within the digital brand ORAIN BERRIAK. It is immediate, truthful and selective, prioritizing the news with the greatest social impact. The ORAIN WHATSAPP service, in which video content predominates, does not have the typical style of informative, is more direct and easier to consume and is related to mobile media. Collect the kind of information each chooses, with images, videos and easily. It is especially targeted at people under 30 who consume information quickly and practically.


Makusi: What to see?

There are many studies that show that the youngest barely get access to traditional TV when it comes to watching the content - especially on mobiles and tablets see their cartoons and favorite shows. Considering this, EITB started last year to work on the new content offering for children and adolescents.

The content mark for children and adolescents aims to revitalize this young community. It aims to be a fresh and updated proposal to connect with the life and interests of Basque youth. MAKUSI and MAKUSI KLUBA will be responsible for establishing new ways of relating to the youngest in the house, seeking, among other things, the normalization of the Basque Country and the generation of a strong audience for the future. MAKUSI will be operational in the spring of 2024.


Wow. Our Audio

Specifically, in the podcast world, and in the field of audiology in general, there are successful and rewarded content: Archipelago in the sound fiction, Lodo, Yoko Ona, Iraban Arte, Ultraviolet Waves, Arpa hitting and Iufi, to name a few. This will be followed by EITB, with firm steps, creating the Guau platform in 2024.

It is a new digital space designed to offer and disseminate audiovisual content, including videopodcasts, in a pleasant and attractive way. The new audio platform, besides offering all the content of the “radio”, will offer podcasts. It is therefore a digital tool to disseminate the entire offer of audio.En this space can be purchased and consumed in an appropriate and free way. Importance will be given to content and multiple interaction. Listeners will be able to manage their genres, songs or styles without giving up customizing their playlists or following the linear offer channels or programs.

The aim of the project is to attract a younger audience into the universe of audio and be a benchmark in the offer of a comprehensive service in which both native digital products (own, co-productions and produced by third parties) and EITB radios can be consumed.

Diversity in formats and genres (sound fiction, podcasts and videopodcasts, interviews…), themes (science, sport, culture, health…) and forms of consumption (direct, pre-recorded, on demand…).

 width= and Young

The evolution of EITB digital products related to youth and daily life requires the redesign of these contents and their technology to adapt them to new forms of audiovisual consumption. These projects are in the process of being prepared and implemented this year. It is essential that EITB has advanced technology and an Internet portal, but it must update its strategy, specialising its contents in terms of digital communities and using an asymmetric strategy based on its content, public and consumption habits.

The user experience for will focus primarily on the mobile. Because most users access the EITB home page from their mobile. Therefore, the original design will be vertical and later adapted to other devices. Development and launch of a new platform linking universes and content.

As for young people, their content and identity has evolved and has become a reference for Basque youth, successfully adapting to new forms of interaction. Through platforms like YouTube, Instagram or Tiktok, the brand has become a crosmedia brand that promotes initiatives that connect with young people.

Alliances and interaction

To achieve the consumption of content in Basque and Basque, it is essential that they are available on the main platforms of the market and in the applications of global social networks. EITB should seek interaction with these operators and share with them its contents to ensure the consumption of contents in Basque and Basque.

Likewise, EITB should be another agent of digitalisation and Basque strategy by the Basque Country. We certainly have a great responsibility for our public nature, but we cannot act alone. A Basque strategy between EITB, the Basque Government, institutions, the audiovisual sector, creators and agents of the Basque Country, culture and sport.

Content is the key

Finally, saying that the key is not platforms, it"s not technology, it"s not channels. The key is to offer interesting quality content in Basque. Content that new generations want to consume. Own content.

In the age of digitisation and globalisation, a country without its own audiovisual production cannot build its own future or retain its identity. Quality content will ensure the future consumption of information and entertainment by the audience.

Data management

As already mentioned in the introduction of the article, it is clear that if EITB wants to reach the whole of society, it will be essential to find new ways of reaching viewers who have moved away from traditional media – which means, to a large extent, its extension to digital media, to which most have passed. Moreover, it is also true that, for traditional public institutions (audiovisual), the way of working and changing flows is not usually easy, both for EITB and for RTVE or BBC. However, as they say in the United Kingdom, this is a clear case of adapt or die. Not advancing digital transformation is not an option.

And, of course, the extension within the framework of the digital audiovisual strategy to additional media beyond traditional television, implies the need for a new and more efficient data management to measure consumption. In this sense, to optimize the management of data on content, consumption and users, improvement processes have been implemented in EITB. Its objective is to build a single vision of data from the point of view of data governance, quality and analytics.

Furthermore, EITB is one of the participants in the European Media Data Space project (the only communication group in the Spanish State), which aims to strengthen efficient data management, stimulate innovation and accelerate digitisation processes.

Along with EITB, other significant members of the sector are part of this major project: The European Television Union (Eurovision), the agency France Press, France TV (French public television) and various European research institutes or other leading representatives of communication and innovation.