Advanced Television

Analysis: SVoDs drive $220bn content spend

December 20, 2021

Global content spend saw double digit growth in 2021, with research firm Ampere Analysis expecting it to exceed $220 billion (€195.3bn), with growth driven by SVoD platforms.

Specifically, investment rose 14 per cent compared to 2020, representing an increase of over $20 billion.

Apple TV+, Disney+, HBO Max, Peacock and Paramount+ invested over $8 billion in original content in 2021

Content expenditure by commercial and public service broadcasters bounded back in 2021, after being damaged in the prior year by ad spend cut-backs and production halts during the earlier phases of the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite this recovery, content spend from these groups still remains below 2019 levels, largely due to ongoing pressures on revenue (primarily TV advertising revenue) – a consequence of a mixture of viewing shifts to online video, and lingering economic effects influencing advertiser expenditure.

However, subscription OTT services increased investment in content by 20 per cent in 2021, to nearly $50 billion. Compared to 2019, this represents a growth of over 50 per cent, a factor of the success of the streaming market during lockdown, and that within this time frame, Apple TV+, Disney+, HBO Max, Peacock and Paramount+ have expanded rapidly and together via their originals, contributed over $8 billion to content spend in 2021.

“In 2022, we expect content investment to exceed $230 billion, primarily driven by subscription streaming services, as the battle in the original content arena intensifies – both in the US, but also in the global markets which are increasingly key for growth,” advises Hannah Walsh, Research Manager at Ampere Analysis.

Netflix still leads SVoD content spend

Netflix continues to dominate SVoD content investment, contributing 30 per cent of total SVoD content spend and 6 per cent of total global content investment in 2021. Netflix is the third largest investor in professional video content at a group level ($14 billion), behind Comcast and its subsidiaries ($22.7 billion), and Disney ($18.6 billion).

“Comcast and Disney invest heavily in sports rights, which —alongside their hefty investments in original content — contributed to their leading positions in the table,” notes Walsh. “Sports rights made up of over a third of both Comcast and Disney’s spend in 2021.”

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