June 20, 2024

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Streamer Spend Set For Major European Landmark

Streamer spend in Europe is set to overtake public and commercial broadcasters this year for the first time, topping €10B ($10.6B), according to new research from Ampere Analysis.

In 2023, spend by streamers, PSBs and commercial nets was virtually neck-and-neck in the continent at around €8B each but a gap is set to emerge by the end of 2024. Broadcaster spend will remain virtually flat while streamer investment will shoot up by a whopping 20%, Ampere said. Netflix, in particular, has revealed dozens of European original commissions so far this year including a Steven Knight-penned British drama series about Guinness, a Polish show from the writer of High Water and a French TV thriller starring Isabelle Adjani. Meanwhile, Prime Video Germany original Maxton Hall – The World Between Us recently became Amazon’s most-watched international original series of all time.

Ampere focused its report on the challenge this poses to commercial broadcasters, which it said face “increased pressure on their own content budgets and falling viewer engagement levels” from the “deep-pocketed” streaming services.

According to Ampere’s Media Consumer behaviour tracker, which conducts biannual interviews with 2,000 consumers, commercial broadcasters have seen an average 16% decline in consumer engagement across Europe’s big five markets since 2016. The result is a decline of nearly €1B in the linear TV advertising market over the past decade, while content spending budgets have reduced by 19% since 2016, according to Ampere.

Streamers have been ramping up spend outside the U.S. as indicated by Ampere’s research but the firm went on to say that “the next few years present a strategic opportunity for broadcasters amidst a slowdown in spending by the major streaming services,” which are focusing on profitability over spend growth. Investment by global streamers in European content is forecast to grow by 8% year-on-year in 2025, compared to an average annual growth rate of 35% between 2021 and 2024, it said.

“Despite the short-term benefits of cutting costs during economic downturn, prioritising long-term investment in both content and streaming capabilities is crucial for commercial broadcasters to maintain prominence in Europe’s cut-throat TV market,” said Neil Anderson, a Senior Analyst at Ampere.

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