The global streamers have plowed money into original European television shows, increasing spending by 70 percent in 2022 to approximately $5.4 billion (€4.9 billion) compared to a year earlier, according to a new report published by the European Audiovisual Observatory (EAO), an independent media think tank.
Overall, the streamers’ share of total investment in European originals, excluding news and sports rights, has increased sharply, accounting for just under a quarter (24 percent) of total spending last year, up from 16 percent in 2021. Private and public broadcasters, however, continue to fund the bulk of European originals, investing $17.3 billion (€15.8 billion) in 2022, or 76 percent overall.
The report put the overall investment in European original content in 2022 at 20.8 billion euros, or nearly $22.8 billion.
Among the streamers, Netflix, which plowed $2.4 billion (€2.2 billion) into European original content last year, and Amazon ($1.2 billion/€1.1 billion), account for the bulk of spending. They were followed by Disney+ ($550,000/€500,000), HBO Max ($440,000/€400,000) and AppleTV+ ($440,000/€400,000).
But the sharp spike in streamer-driven growth may be short-lived. 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.”
The vast majority of streamer cash — 83 percent in 2022 — is earmarked for scripted programming in Europe, with only 17 percent allotted to non-scripted shows. And there are some noticeable regional differences. U.K. and Spanish productions account for the bulk of streamers’ European investment. The platforms bankrolled British and Spanish shows to the tune of $2.95 billion (€2.7 billion) in 2022, nearly double their investment in productions in the other three largest markets, France, Germany and Italy, combined ($1.5 billion/€1.4 billion). Taken together, U.K. and Spanish productions accounted for 37 percent of global streamers’ spending on original European content.
The importance 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 (excluding news). In Spain, the figure is 51 percent. But in Germany, only 11 percent of original spending comes from the streamers. In France, the figure is closer to 20 percent.
Overall, public and private broadcasters remain the most deep-pocketed players in Europe, jointly investing $50 billion (€45.4 billion) for content last year, of which 35 percent was originals. 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.