Digital i has analysed the uptake of non-English language content on the two biggest global streamers, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, across the European Big Five (UK, France, Italy, Germany and Spain).
Using its methodology to track full Netflix and Prime Video account viewing from a harmonised European panel, the data shows that the two streaming platforms are beginning to democratise non-English language content.
As further major US studios begin to roll out their streaming offerings across the globe, it is paramount to understand the type of content that attracts global audiences. As viewers spend more time watching non-English language content, Digital i believes Hollywood and other English-speaking production powerhouses to begin to lose their dominance when it comes to the global market for content.
The increased uptake in non-English language productions, content, and popularity on streaming platforms democratises content across the globe to the potential detriment of the previously dominant English-language entertainment industry.
From 2019 to the present, the percentage of non-English language content available on Netflix increased from 25 per cent to 31 per cent.
Despite the catalogue makeup increasing by between 5-6 percentage points, the viewing behaviour has shifted more drastically. Netflix UKFIGS viewers spent 22 per cent of their viewing time watching non-English language content October 2021 in comparison to 10 per cent in Q1 2019.
The top non-English language titles during this time period were Money Heist (pictured), Elite, Squid Game, Dark and Lupin.
For Prime Video the percentage of the content catalogue made up by non-English language content increased from 19 per cent to 25 per cent from 2019 to October 2021. In terms of viewing, English-language content viewing time dropped from making up 93 per cent of all Prime Video viewing to 84 per cent during the same period.
The LOL: Last One Laughing format led the non-English language consumption, followed by Ballsy Girl (Forte – a French film), and the Spanish Original films Father There Is Only One 1 and 2 (Padre no hay más que uno).
In stark difference to the Netflix shows which were all original thriller/drama series, Prime Video’s top non-English language titles were factual entertainment and films.
Digital i forecasts that English language content will drop to 50 per cent of all mainstream SVoD viewing in Europe by 2030.