22 APR 2022

“The Masked Singer” was the best-selling format of 2021

Distributed by MBC and Fremantle, “The Masked Singer” has been the best-selling format for a third consecutive year in 2021, according to K7 Media’s annual report on the top 100 travelling unscripted TV formats.

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"The Masked Singer"

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Distributed by MBC and Fremantle, “The Masked Singer” has been the best-selling format for a third consecutive year in 2021, according to K7 Media’s annual report on the top 100 travelling unscripted TV formats, entitled “Tracking The Giants.” The musical entertainment format from South Korea secured 12 new local adaptations during last year.

Meanwhile, Fremantle's “Game Of Talents” has been recognized as the “Format of the year” in 2021. Launched by Fremantle Spain on Cuatro in 2019, this hybrid format combines Fremantle’s extensive experience of producing hit talent formats with the current trend for performance guessing games. The format has gone from a standing start in 2020 to an impressive seven new markets in 2021, including the United States (Fox), UK (ITV), Italy (TV8), and France (TF1).

Another classic format that raised rapidly up the charts again in 2021 was Sony Pictures Television's “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?”. With nine new launches in 2021, it placed second to “The Masked Singer” as the most successful format of the year, also earning its recognition as “Revival of the year” for 2021.

K7 Media also gave recognition to “Big Brother VIP.” The celebrity incarnation of Banijay's classic format secured six new launches in 2021, making it the most successful spin-off of the year, and ranked in fourth position overall. The format is now active in 17 global markets - surpassing the 11 active markets for the original “Big Brother.”

The report also praised All3Media, as it delivered a double whammy in winning the top two positions for the best-selling new format of the year: “The Traitors” secured 11 new sales and “Sort Your Life Out” ended the year with 10 new sales. Meanwhile, “Marble Mania” from Talpa Concepts was named the “Format to watch” of 2021.

Regarding specific companies, Fremantle prevailed for a third consecutive year in launching the greatest number of new series in 2021, becoming once again the “Distributor of the year.” Meanwhile, Banijay has delivered the largest catalogue of active formats and returning series in 2021.

According to K7 Media, when it comes to genres, it was the entertainment genre that experienced the most growth in 2021 and, within this, the proportion of challenge-based game shows almost doubled year-on-year. In fact, looking across all the new launches in 2021, K7 sees challenge-based game shows replace quiz-based shows as the overall number one sub-genre.

In terms of territories, although the UK continues to account for the largest proportion of global format sales overall, it was the United States that climbed up the rankings last year, registering a growth of more than 50% in the number of originated formats. Simultaneously, Japan was recognized as the “Rising market of the year.”

“As we see further consolidation in the TV market, the battle for the top distributor of the year has turned into a very closely fought battle between just a few global players, and the need to both develop and acquire new content has never been more essential. The future is certainly looking very encouraging for the unscripted TV format business, with both traditional broadcasters and an ever-growing number of new streamers continuing to commission greater volumes of unscripted content,”  said Douglas Wood, the author of the report.