The Public Service Media Ecosystem in Spain: How Are They Facing Digital Innovation and Audience Engagement?


Today Spanish Public Service Media are in a crossroads. PSM ecosystem consists of the national corporation (RTVE), twelve regional public media corporations, and several TV and local stations. They face many challenges: political, economic, and technological. Besides, young audiences are drifting away, and new digital platforms are setting the pace in the audiovisual ecosystem.

The current political context is affecting so much on their performance, as well as they are suffering significant financial constraints. From the technological perspective, Spain is behind schedule for the second digital dividend implementation. One of the biggest problems they are facing is that young audiences are drifting away from legacy media. Analytics and ratings give a clear snapshot of the current scenario.

The research question is: are Spanish Public Service Media responding accordingly to the new demands of the digital ecosystem? This paper analyses how these public corporations are developing new strategies to face new challenges. It overviews how they deploy new instruments to engage audiences through social media and introduce new content to attract young audiences. It compares the different digital and innovation strategies of regional corporations. Final remarks will provide the singularities of the Spanish case, where there seems to be no common patterns and diversity is the norm. Besides, it is interesting to see how Digital Terrestrial Television is envisioning some concerns about its future. This fact is crucial for Spain because DTT is having the biggest audience and advertising market. A new scenario is approaching for PSM.

The theoretical framework is based on relevant European authors (Donders, Lowe, Puppis), as well as on previous works by Spanish academics (Alvarez Monzoncillo, Bustamente, Campos Freire, Marzal, Chaparro).

The methodology will include qualitative text analysis and gathering of quantitative data. These outcomes are part of a research project funded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy.