10 JUN 2024

European broadcasters face a new reality: less market share and the streaming pressure

This arises from the latest forecast by the consulting firm Ampere Analysis. It examines the current and potential future strategies adopted by Europe’s largest commercial broadcasters to tackle these challenges.

10 JUN 2024

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Latest forecasts from Ampere Analysis predict that spending by subscription video-on-demand (SVoD) platforms will reach €10bn in Europe's major TV markets in 2024. This surpasses the investment made by the region’s commercial broadcasters in original and acquired content who face major challenges of strong competition from deep-pocketed streamers, increased pressure on their own content budgets, and falling viewer engagement levels. Ampere’s latest report examines the current and potential future strategies adopted by Europe’s largest commercial broadcasters to tackle these challenges.

According to Ampere's Media Consumer behaviour tracker, which conducts biannual interviews with 2,000 consumers, commercial broadcasters have seen an average 16% decline in consumer engagement across Europe’s big five markets since 2016. The result is a decline of nearly €1bn in the linear TV advertising market over the past decade. Despite these obstacles, commercial broadcasters have demonstrated adaptability by intensifying their focus on streaming strategies. However, their content spending budgets have reduced by 19% since 2016, even as they continue substantial investments in film and TV content, totalling €8 billion in 2023.

The next few years present a strategic opportunity for broadcasters amidst a slowdown in spending by the major streaming services. Investment by global streamers in European sourced content is forecast to grow by 8% year-on-year in 2025, compared to an average annual growth rate of 35% between 2021 and 2024. Industry giants including Netflix, Disney, and Warner Bros. Discovery are scaling back streaming spend growth to ensure sustained profitability, paving the way for national broadcasters to capitalise on this shift. Sustaining or increasing content investment is crucial for broadcasters to differentiate themselves in an industry where major global streamers are adopting more conservative spending strategies. Bold commissioning decisions can set broadcasters apart, drive engagement and advertising revenue.

However, content spending strategies are not the only consideration; broadcasters must also prioritise the transition of audiences to streaming to ensure their long-term relevance. This involves investing in their video-on-demand platforms, expanding content libraries, enhancing digital advertising capabilities, experimenting with content release strategies across linear and VoD, and tailoring content output to cater to younger demographics.

Neil Anderson, Senior Analyst at Ampere Analysis called for not neglecting long-term investment:“Despite the short-term benefits of cutting costs during economic downturn, prioritising long-term investment in both content and streaming capabilities is crucial for commercial broadcasters to maintain prominence in Europe’s cut-throat TV market," explained.