Streamers dished out €4.9B ($5.4B) on original content in Europe in 2022 — and they now account for nearly a quarter of all such spend, analysis from the European Audiovisual Observatory reveals.
However, the sharp increase in spend since 2020 doesn’t mean the trend will continue, the EAO warned in its analysis of data from Ampere Analysis, with both Disney and Warner Bros Discovery limiting investments. Both have been reconstruct their business models in the face of tough market economics and focus on turning streaming profitable faster.
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Streamer spend in 2022 rose sharply, up 70% on the 2021 figure and accounting for 24% of overall spend, which came in at €20.8B (excluding news) and marks a “strong rebound after the Covid-19 crisis,” the EAO report stated.
The overall spend on original content was up nearly 14% from €18.3B in 201 and a 54% increase on the €13.5B spent in 2013, when streamers were not yet making originals in Europe. However, revenues have not kept up with spend, likely reflecting the global streamers push to gain subscribers by investing in originals rather than searching for profitability.
Interestingly, Netflix wasn’t primarily behind the growth in streaming spend, with its share in the continent dropping from 58% to 45%, or €2.2B with Prime Video singled out for increasing investment (€1.1B). Disney invested about €500M, AppleTV+ and HBO Max €400M and others made up €300M.
Scripted programming still accounted for the lion’s share (83%) of the spend, representing €4.1B. Though this was proportionately the same as in 2021 and slightly down on previous years, spend was up 71% year-on-year.
The UK and Spain together accounted for 37% of streamer spend. In Spain, that spend accounted for more than 50% of the total, with significant sums ploughed into the UK, Italy, Denmark and Sweden.
While those stats are striking, European broadcasters continued to invest more and grew their spend. Including their spend on sports rights and acquisitions, their total was €45.4B (it’s worth noting the EAO analysis only included streamer acquisitions data from Prime Video and Netflix).
Original content accounts for about 35% of that overall spend at broadcasters, above sports rights (28%) and acquisitions (26%). In Denmark, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands, public networks play a key role, while in Poland, France and Italy, private broadcasters lead the way. Overall broadcasters made up 76% of spend. In general, public broadcasters investments in original shows has been flat over the past decade, while private broadcasters have nearly doubled their spend on sports rights, and original spend as risen much slower.
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