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Experts: Streaming Set to Expand Internationally as Services Ramp Up Spending

Lauren Forristal

According to industry experts at Ampere Analysis, streaming services are aiming for more subscriber growth in 2022 as well as diversifying their content offering. Not only will there be a large number of new scripted shows coming to the platforms, but more international launches are expected to take place as well. Experts also believe that content spend is expected to rise 6% in 2022.

International Expansion for 2022

At the end of 2021, over one third of all Western European homes were subscribed to Netflix whereas Amazon Prime Video is in more than a fifth of Western European households. Paramount+ and Peacock are teaming up with plans to enter the Eastern European market early. Additionally, Disney+ is set to expand in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa this summer, while HBO Max is keeping its eye on Eastern Europe. This year, HBO Max will expand to Turkey, Portugal, Greece, Estonia, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, and the Netherlands, as well as Central & Eastern Europe. According to the company, it also aims to launch in 190 territories by 2026.

Based on data from Digital-i, at least 50% of European subscribers viewing time of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video content could be spent streaming non-English content by 2030.

Ampere’s Consumer data shows that, there is high engagement with local TV shows and films, particularly in large emerging markets, like India. So naturally Netflix and Amazon Prime have begun tapping into local content production hubs to create content in order to attract new customers and also maintain their current subscriber bases. The need for exclusive original content gets even stronger as competition with the market intensifies.

The volume of brand new scripted shows coming between the platforms has significantly increased. Since productions were halted due to the pandemic, more and more have been wrapping up to release. In the U.S., the volume of scripted show releases reached pre-pandemic levels for the first time in October 2021.

Richard Cooper, Research Director reported, “Back in 2019, around two-thirds of Netflix releases occurred on a Friday, ahead of weekend viewing. In 2021, the proportion of shows releasing on a Friday dropped to around 50 percent, with Wednesdays and Thursdays gaining in popularity. Now, with an average of three scripted shows releasing every week, Netflix will be increasingly dominant across the weekly schedule.”

In 2019, Netflix’s foreign library expanded from 25% to 31% in 2021. Meanwhile, Amazon’s foreign content doubled to 16%, and its catalog spiked from 19% to 25%. By 2024, Disney+ plans to commission 50 shows in Europe.

Content Spending Still Rising

As companies grow their original slates, experts from Ampere Analysis believe content spend will only continue on this upward trajectory. For instance, by the end of 2022, original and sport content will most likely reach roughly $240 billion. Subscription on-demand services will be the biggest reason for this rise and are predicted to be responsible for over a fifth of global content spend this year. Back in April, 2021, Netflix and Amazon committed to putting up almost $500 million alone on South Korean productions and financing around 16 Japanese anime projects.

Content investment from AVoD services remains relatively low, however, Roku and other services have begun investing in original content. Sports will also be a strong contributor to content spending growth, as it continues to represent an important pawn in the industry. Some services even have their eyes on international growth. European football leagues, in particular, such as the English Premier League which is expected to become the first major national competition that will generate more revenues from international TV deals than its domestic ones in 2022.

In the last decade, the Premier League’s international revenues have more than tripled and currently represents approximately 47% of the total broadcast revenues. The recent deal with NBCUniversal gives them a reported $450 million per season, which will bring international TV revenues up to around $2.4 billion from 2022, according to experts. This makes up 54% of the total revenues generated from broadcasting fees so far this year.

In 2022, foreign content as well as scripted originals are key to streaming services succeeding in their goals.

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