People/Biz

Streaming content spend to hit $250 billion in 2021: report

A London-headquartered research service is predicting a US$250 billion content spend from global streaming services for 2021, and is proclaiming that there is “no imminent ceiling in sight” for the ...
June 28, 2021

A London-headquartered research service is predicting a US$250 billion content spend from global streaming services for 2021, and is proclaiming that there is “no imminent ceiling in sight” for the accelerated growth that streaming has experienced during the pandemic.

The report, titled “An Industry Transformed,” stems from Purely, a fintech company connecting film and TV rights owners with streaming services, and its streaming research and analytics service, Purely Streamonomics. According to its findings, the gross cash amount spent by the streamers producing and licensing new entertainment content (excluding sports) rose by 16.4% in 2020 to reach $220.2 billion. Purely anticipates a total spend of more than $250 billion in 2021.

According to the report, the world’s biggest single spender on content is The Walt Disney Company with a gross total of $28.6 billion for 2020, which adds up to more than spend across the whole of Asia ($27.7 billion) last year. The report also highlighted the Warner Media/Discovery merger and its combined content spend of $20.8 billion in 2020, which places Netflix in third place in terms of content spend with its $15.1 billion shelled out last year.

Purely Streamonomics also found that indie content spending jumped by 25.3% year-on-year in 2020, and that average budgets across all new series — scripted, unscripted, daytime and kids –- was on the rise, up 16.5% in 2020. While the team behind the report says primary reasons for the budget hikes include costs for locking talent and increases in production values, COVID-19 protocols are also responsible for 20-30% increases in production budgets, and “green” production initiatives could add another 5-10% over time.

Production spend from companies based in North America is up 16.1%, while big increases can be seen from regional business spend in the smaller markets of Africa and the Middle East (+46.3%), Latin America (+32.9%) and Oceania (+32.5%), propelled by rapidly growing local streamers such as Shahid VIP in the Middle East, which has recently committed to spending an additional $100 million per year on original content. European company spend, which is currently less than a quarter of that in the U.S. and Canada, failed to keep pace, rising by 11.8%. As local services such as Viaplay in the Nordics and Movistar+ in Spain expand, that figure is expected to rise.

“What is remarkable about these record numbers is that the industry’s spending has yet to bump up against any natural ceiling,” said Purely founder and CEO Wayne Marc Godfrey in a statement accompanying the report. “Every year there is talk of the industry being on the cusp of ‘peak television’ and yet it is clear from our own business dealings that the streaming of films and TV shows is only now starting to reach escape velocity. Streaming is not just displacing traditional sources of entertainment revenue such as pay-TV and linear broadcasting, it is actually expanding the global marketplace for video. The big question then becomes whether there are enough good stories out there, and talents to tell them, to keep fueling this transformation.”

(Image: Shutterstock)

About The Author

Menu

Search