Love Island will be 2019's millennial must-watch

Love Island Australia was one of Nine’s biggest breakout TV hits of 2018, but program director Hamish Turner is promising larger audiences – across TV and digital – and more storyline twists as the broadcaster gears up for its 2019 season.

“This is a show which broke the mould for TV viewing in 2018,” says Turner. “It rewrote the blueprint by engaging audiences both on linear TV and in digital. What we saw was that a core audience of digital natives came to the franchise and chose online as their destination of choice.

“In 2019 we expect that audience to grow on linear TV and digital.”

Turner says Love Island is unique in having lives across so many platforms, TV, 9Now –   where it was the most binged show on the platform in 2018 – and also in the social world where it offers Australian brands a unique platform for integration and audience extension.

“Love Island’s digital natives went beyond 9Now and into social platforms where posts on Instagram were being viewed over 300,000 times, plus you had the YouTube audience. It is really a place where you can integrate your brand and reach consumers beyond the linear TV audience.”

Nine’s head of programming believes Love Island’s power lies in the demographic purity of its millennial audience.

In 2018, the show had an average cross-platform audience of 530,000 viewers per episode, with 48 per cent of that audience on 9Go! aged 16-39, while on 9Now, 16-39s accounted for 70 per cent of the audience.

 “It will be back bigger, bolder and more beautiful, but most importantly it will be about young beautiful people finding love in the sun. That’s the core of the show,” says Turner.

In 2019, Nine will also seek to emulate the success of the Love Island experience in the UK by taking the program from the multi-channel 9Go! to Channel 9 to build on the momentum created last year.

“We have moved Love Island because we want to broaden out its appeal,” Turner says. “What we have seen internationally is that year-on-year it gets bigger and bigger – in the UK it is in it fifth season and they are still seeing record numbers.

“This move will definitely broaden out the audience and evolve it from being a core digital native audience.”

For marketers, Turner argues that the power of Love Island is in the fun and engaging nature of the brand, and the millennial audience it speaks to.

“At its core, Love Island Australia is an aspirational brand. It’s about beautiful young things finding love in the sun and we expect to see more of that this year. Sophie Monk will return,  and this season we expect to see more twists and turns in the narrative as our participants go all out for love.”