European investment on original content surpassed $21bn, report finds

The 'Audiovisual services spending in original European content - a 2012-2022 analysis' report details key findings over the ten year period

By Gabriella Geisinger 24 Nov 2023

European investment on original content surpassed $21bn, report finds
Cr: Ron Lach, Pexels

The European Audiovisual Observatory, part of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, has published a report detailing spending from 2012-2022 across the audiovisual sector. 

Spending is split into three content categories: original content, acquired film and TV programmes, and sports rights bought from European and non-European origin.

The report found that investment in original dramas has hit almost $22.9bn (€21bn) in ten years, and crucially this spending outpaces spending in other sectors. Though the report also notes that spending on sports rights has also risen markedly; this illustrates a post-pandemic production industry rebound.

Another key finding was spending by global streamers, which increased dramatically in 2022 and accounted for 24% of all spending on European original content. 

However, the report also details that streamers have since announced that they will limit their investments in non-US content. 

Over the ten-year study period, broadcasters had also increased their spending (up until the pandemic) faster than before the entry of global streamers into the European market. Original content counted for 35% of broadcaster spending.

Netflix and Amazon Studios' spending on scripted programming has decreased over time but still makes up 83% of original content spend.

The UK and Spain accounted together for 37% of global streamers’ spending on original European content. The share of global streamers in original content spending is particularly high in Spain (over 50%) and, to a lesser extent, in the United Kingdom, Italy, Denmark and Sweden.

Public broadcasting is still key for funding original content in Denmark, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. In Poland, Italy and France, private broadcasters play a bigger role while global streamers represent the bulk of Spain’s spending.

The research is based on the dataset provided by UK firm Ampere Analysis, and it includes two categories of data: profit and loss, expenses for broadcasters, and cash investments for global streamers. 

The datasets generally exclude two main categories of spending: news, when produced internally by a broadcaster; and Global streamers’ acquisitions from their parent company, when this parent company is a Hollywood studio (e.g. Disney+, Paramount+, HBO Max), as these internal transactions cannot be monitored.

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