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New Streaming Industry Report Shows Disney Spending Most Globally, But Rivals Are Close Behind

Derek Walborn

According to a report from UK-based industry research firm Purely Streamonomics, streaming companies spent a record amount of $220.2 billion on global production and new content licensing in 2020, with The Walt Disney Company spending the most, at $28.6 billion.

Given the astronomical growth of streaming platforms over the last year, this trend is not expected to change. Purely predicts that by the end of 2021, streaming companies will have spent a gross amount of over $250 billion as they continue their ongoing collective quests for world domination.

Purely anticipates an increase in the short term as well, with platforms such as HBO Max, Peacock, and Paramount+ offering new, ad-supported tiers to their platforms. This is an option that has proven to be very popular with viewers looking to continue keeping up with their favorite programs on a lean entertainment budget.

“Even more spending growth is on the short-term horizon as a new wave of ad-supported platforms start gaining a stronger foothold around the world, alongside the subscription-funded services that have been driving the streaming marketplace until now,” Purely said in their report

Disney+

Disney+ is an ad-free video streaming service with over 13,000 series and films from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, The Muppets, and more. It is available in 61 countries and 21 languages.

The Disney streaming service costs $7.99 / month, or $79.99 / year ($6.67 / month). You can bundle it with Hulu and ESPN+ for just $13.99 a month (cheaper than Netflix).

The app supports unlimited downloads, four simultaneous streamers, up to 7 profiles, 4K streaming, and includes hundreds of avatars.

The service includes 25+ new original series, 10+ original movies, 7,500 past episodes, 100 recent movies, and 400 library titles including the entire Disney Vault. You can stream original series like “The Mandalorian”, “Falcon and the Winter Soldier”, “Loki”, and “Monsters at Work.”

You can see the full list of available Disney, Disney Channel, Star Wars, Pixar, Marvel, Nat Geo shows and movies, or all available Disney Plus content by checking out our Disney+ Streaming Movie List.

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Warner Bros. Discovery is following behind Disney, with the merger of both media giants putting their combined expenditure at $20.8 billion. Netflix, already embattled with competitors taking bites out of its market share, is in third place having spent $15.1 billion in 2020. This is in spite of devoting a third of its content budget to spending on global titles.

Amazon's similarly earth-shaking absorption of MGM looks as though it will put the company in fourth place with an $11.8 billion expenditure.

The data shows that the money spent on productions based in North America showed the smallest increase in spending, with a 16.1% rise. This comes as little surprise, considering that the market is firmly established and there is little new fertile ground to be sown with regard to production companies and studios.

The real story is told in foreign spending, with investment in Latin America, for example, jumping up almost 33%.

HBO Max launches this week in Latin America and Discovery+ is set for launch in Brazil this September.

discovery+

discovery+ is a video streaming service that offers more than 55,000 episodes of 2,500+ current and classic shows from several popular TV brands including Discovery, Investigation Discovery, HGTV, TLC, Food Network, A&E, Lifetime, and History.

The service primarily focuses on non-fiction programming or “reality” TV shows.

discovery+ is available with limited ads for $4.99 / month or ad-free for $6.99 / month.

The HBO Max launch will bring access to all of the movies and television shows on the North American version of the platform to Latin American and Caribbean viewers, along with region-exclusive material like “Pop Divas”, “The Cut”, “Las Bravas”, and more.

Fernando Medin, President of Discovery Latin America and U.S. Hispanic, said in a press release that the Latin America production team is collaborating with local as well as global production companies to create over 40 original titles and more than 150 shows by the end of 2022.

In addition, last week, Univision announced plans to launch a global streaming platform in the United States and Latin America in 2022 that would carry more original Spanish language content than any other provider. The new Univision service will include both paid and ad-supported tiers that will include thousands of hours of owned and acquired content at launch.

HBO Max

HBO Max is a subscription video streaming service that gives access to the full HBO library, along with exclusive Max Originals, and access to every Warner Bros. film on HBO Max on the same day that it hits theaters.

HBO Max has two tiers, an ad-supported plan for $9.99 and ad-free plan for $14.99. HBO Max without ads also includes features like the ability to download offline and 4K streaming.

Subscribers will have access to hit HBO series like Succession, Mare of Easttown, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and more.

All HBO Max subscribers will get the full libraries of shows like “Friends”, “The Big Bang Theory”, “South Park”, “Fresh Prince of Bel Air”, “The West Wing”, and more.

They also will get Max Originals that aren’t available to HBO channel subscribers, like “The Flight Attendant” (Kaley Cuoco), “Love Life” (Anna Kendrick), as well as reboots to “Sex In The City” and “Gossip Girl.”

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Streamers are keen to set up shop before the competition does by investing not just in the international content that domestic audiences have developed a growing appetite for, but also buying up local indie productions, securing exclusive rights to television shows and movies, and looking to appeal to new viewers on their home turf.

While the spending hierarchy may have a bit to do with the fact that Netflix is by and large a much more established entity than Disney or Discovery’s spanking new platforms, with a bit more foundation already laid down, it further outlines the shifting forces and high stakes in the streaming battles. Today’s giant may be tomorrow’s old news. As with most industries, the biggest spenders may end up with the spoils and Disney is no stranger to turning record-making investments into record-making profits.

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