The investment in original European television shows by global streaming platforms has seen a significant increase in recent years. According to a new report from the European Audiovisual Observatory (EAO), these streamers increased their spending by 70 percent in 2022, reaching approximately $5.4 billion (€4.9 billion) compared to the previous year.
This surge in spending has resulted in a significant increase in the streamers’ share of total investment in European originals, excluding news and sports rights, accounting for 24 percent of total spending in 2022, up from 16 percent in 2021. This means that private and public broadcasters continue to fund the majority of European originals, with an investment of $17.3 billion (€15.8 billion) in 2022, representing 76 percent of the overall investment.
The total investment in European original content in 2022 was estimated at 20.8 billion euros, or nearly $22.8 billion. Among the streamers, Netflix led the pack with an investment of $2.4 billion (€2.2 billion) in European original content, followed by Amazon with $1.2 billion (€1.1 billion), Disney+ with $550,000 (€500,000), HBO Max with $440,000 (€400,000), and AppleTV+ also with $440,000 (€400,000).
However, it seems that this sharp rise in streamer-driven growth may be short-lived, as the EAO report notes that some streamers, including Disney+ and HBO Max, have announced that they will limit their investments in non-U.S. content in the future.
When it comes to the types of content being funded, the vast majority of streamer cash, 83 percent in 2022, is allocated to scripted programming, with only 17 percent going to non-scripted shows. Additionally, there are noticeable regional differences in the distribution of funding, with U.K. and Spanish productions receiving the bulk of streamers’ European investment. These productions accounted for $2.95 billion (€2.7 billion) of global streamers’ spending on original European content in 2022, nearly double the investment in productions in the other three largest markets – France, Germany, and Italy – combined ($1.5 billion/€1.4 billion).
The significance of global streamers for local European markets varies widely between countries. In the U.K. and Italy, streamers account for around a third of total investment in originals, while in Spain, the figure is 51 percent. However, in Germany, only 11 percent of original spending comes from streamers, and in France, the figure is closer to 20 percent.
Overall, public and private broadcasters remain the most influential players in Europe, jointly investing $50 billion (€45.4 billion) in content last year, with 35 percent of that investment going towards original programming. Sports licensing accounted for 28 percent of spending, while third-party acquisitions of films and series, such as U.S. movies and shows, made up 26 percent of total spending.
The landscape of investment in European original content is constantly evolving, with both traditional broadcasters and global streamers playing crucial roles in shaping the future of European entertainment.