The uses of money over time
In 2020, the film and television industry experienced unprecedented growth. In the midst of the global pandemic, public demand for streaming services has increased, production spending has increased, and budgets for television series have reached all-time highs.
Growth in the industry is not expected to slow anytime soon and with the recent wave of media mergers, even more changes are on the horizon.
What key developments in the film and television industry deserve special attention? Based on research compiled by Purely Streamonomics, here’s a look at the four emerging trends that could revolutionize the industry as we know it.
# 1: Rise of new streaming platforms
As the global lockdown measures pushed people indoors, public demand for home entertainment increased.
Between 2019-2020, the number of global online video subscriptions increased by 26%, reaching 1.2 billion subscriptions. This growth is expected to continue in the years to come – in fact, by 2025, subscriptions are expected to reach 1.6 billion worldwide.
Along with this growing audience demand, new streaming platforms are entering the market at an accelerated pace. 2020 welcomed four new subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) platforms: Apple tv, HBO Max, peacock, and Disney +.
The new SVOD platforms have conquered a large audience in a short time. For example, Disney + has already won 100 million subscribers since its launch in November 2020.
|Platform||Paying subscribers (latest data available in June 2021)|
|Main video||200 million|
|Tencent Video||123 million|
|Disney +||103.6 million|
|HBO Max||63.9 million|
|Apple tv||40 million|
|Eros now||36.2 million|
In addition to SVOD services, video on demand (AVOD) advertising platforms, which generate revenue through advertisements rather than subscribers, are also growing in popularity. Some of these ad-supported services have gained a larger audience than their SVOD counterparts. For example, IMDb’s free platform IMDbTV possesses 55 million monthly active users, which is more than the number of paying Hulu subscribers.
# 2: increased content spending
As more and more platforms emerge and audience demand increases, spending on content production also continues to rise.
In 2020, a record $ 220.2 billion was devoted to the making and acquisition of new feature films and television shows, an increase of 16.5% over production expenses in 2019.
Where in the world do all these production expenses come from? Perhaps unsurprisingly, more two-thirds of global spending in 2020 came from the United States and Canada.
|Region||2020 production expenditure||% change (Yearly)|
|United States and Canada||$ 149.3 billion||16.1%|
|Latin America||$ 5.2 billion||32.9%|
|Europe||$ 32.6 billion||11.8%|
|Africa and Middle East||$ 2.8 billion||46.3%|
|Asia||$ 27.7 billion||19.8%|
|Oceania||$ 0.9 billion||32.5%|
Despite Hollywood’s dominance, it should be noted that small markets in regions such as Latin America, Africa and the Middle East experienced significant growth in 2020.
# 3: spending on independent content increases
With overall content spending at an all time high, the independent (indie) film market is also growing. In fact, out of the billions spent on content production, more than half went to independent filmmakers.
Keep in mind that this estimate includes direct spending on independent content, as well as indirect funding through licensing and co-funding agreements with major studios. In other words, actors like Disney and Warner Bros. technically still produce the most content. However, they often outsource the production work to independent filmmakers, or purchase the rights to independent content, to distribute on their streaming platforms.
Overall, global spending on independent content has increased by 25.3% in 2020, year after year. And that independent growth could continue into 2021 and beyond, as distributors and streaming giants scramble to fill their pipelines with content that has dried up due to production issues and delays caused by COVID-19.
# 4: TV budgets continue to skyrocket
As competition intensifies in the streaming market, producers face pressures to increase the value of their production so that they can hold the attention of their audiences. In other words, because the stakes are higher and higher, the cost of production goes up, especially for television.
In 2020, the budget for an average television series in the United States was $ 59.6 million, a 16.5% increase from year to year. One of the costliest TV shows of the past year was WandaVision, a Marvel Cinematic Universe series that cost Disney around $ 200 million (which breaks down to around $ 25 million per episode).
As series budgets increase, the line between film and television begins to blur. For example, the characters and stories of WandaVision will have direct links with the next Doctor Strange sequel, which entices fans to watch the Disney + series.
No cap in sight for the film and television industry
Despite months of disruption caused by COVID-19, the film and television industry has shown resilience in 2020. But this is only the beginning – as audience demand continues to grow and budgets continue to grow. continue to rise, growth has become the new normal.
This chart is brought to you by Purely Streamonomics, a monthly newsletter that provides key insights into the global film and television market.