Tuesday, July 30, 2019

HGTV DStv channel launch Day 2: Executives press conference - HGTV's surprising answer on design trend-spotting and staying ahead of the curve with what viewers want to see next.

Who knew that tiny homes would become a thing? HGTV.

By perpetually being on the cutting edge of the latest trends in television programming, spotting them, adjusting, and incorporating them, America's home and garden channel has itself bucked the trend in a pay-TV world marked by sliding viewership and so-called "cord-cutting".

With its finger constantly on the pulse of what viewers want to see and rolling out content about whatever is next while at the same time staying true to tried-and-tested home design and renovation content, Discovery Inc.'s HGTV (DStv 177) has kept growing and adding viewers (or "fans" as HGTV calls them).

HGTV has continued its viewership expansion to become the third most-watched channel in all of pay-TV in the United States.

MultiChoice just added Discovery Inc.'s HGTV (DStv 177) for DStv Premium, DStv Compact Plus and DStv Compact subscribers and for that Discovery Inc. held a HGTV press conference at the Table Bay hotel in Cape Town.

Kathleen Finch, Discovery Inc.'s chief lifestyle brands officer, was one of the TV executive panellists on the afternoon of Day 2 of the 3-day press tour for the channel's launch in South Africa.

TVwithThinus asked her how HGTV as an aspirational TV channel determines what the trends are and will be, for instance the "tiny house" movement for which HGTV just "suddenly" had shows ready, and how HGTV executives trend-analyse before being able to programme according to that.

"Well, we don't do it before we programme," explained Kathleen Finch in her surprising answer.

"What we really like to do is - because we make 800 hours of new content a year, we cover everything - so, we do modern programming, we do country chic, we do farmhouse chic. We do all these different styles. Big homes, little homes, mega-mansions, tiny homes."

"We have so much content and every talent that we bring, bring their expertise. So we don't just want to hire designers who will have the 'HGTV look' because there is no 'HGTV look'. It's personal. And it's a real reflection of the different talent that we have and we try to personalise it so that the viewers can take an idea from here, a trend from there," said Kathleen Finch.

"We don't dictate, we don't want to dictate, because it's a personal decision. Instead, we want to make sure that we have people who are at the top of their field who talk about trends, who reflect trends, but they empower viewers to do what they want and to make their own decisions."

"I think trying to spot trends is sort of a dangerous business because it's a trend today and it's gone tomorrow."

"Instead, what our goal at HGTV really is, is to inspire and to encourage viewers to find their style and to take from our channel and our experts what they can do to translate their style to their own home - as opposed to going 'okay, from now on every appliance is stainless steel, that's the new thing'. We don't do that."

"We let you decide by sharing a little bit of everything," said Kathleen Finch.

ALSO READ: HGTV DStv channel launch Day 1: IN PICTURES - 37 photos of HGTV's beautiful cocktail party at sunset at the infinity pool of a Upper Clifton mansion in Cape Town.
ALSO READ: HGTV DStv channel launch Day 2: IN PICTURES - 29 photos of HGTV's official South African media launch event presentation.
ALSO READ: HGTV DStv channel launch Day 2: Press conference - Why Discovery Inc. launched it so quickly in South Africa after acquiring Scripps and Africa's growing importance as a pay-TV market among global content suppliers.
ALSO READ: HGTV DStv channel launch Day 2: INTERVIEW - Flip or Flop star Tarek El Moussa: 'I feel like I have a very intimate relationship with HGTV because I feel like I've grown with them'.
ALSO READ: HGTV DStv channel launch Day 2: IN IMAGES - 20 photos of HGTV's gala rooftop dinner at the Zeitz Museum in Cape Town.
ALSO READ: HGTV DStv channel launch Day 3: IN IMAGES - 9 photos of the media breakfast and press screening & 4 sizzle reels including a special Home Town surprise message.
ALSO READ: HGTV DStv channel launch Day 3: IN IMAGES - 8 photos of the Grand Provence media lunch.
ALSO READ: HGTV DStv channel launch press tour - An overview.