Commissions based on adaptations, franchises, and other forms of pre-existing Intellectual Property (IP) accounted for 64% of leading global Subscription Video on Demand (SVoD) platforms’ slate of new Scripted Originals in the US in the first half of 2022, according to Ampere Analysis’ report "How original are SVoD Originals?." Including Unscripted Originals, the share of IP-based commissions stood at 42% of new movies and First run Originals in the US during the period, compared to 28% for their international commissions, reflecting the competitiveness and maturity of the groups’ native US market. SVoD players have increased their share of IP-based commissions in North America by seven percentage points over the last two years.
While Apple TV+ taps most heavily into pre-existing IP (53% of total new Originals in the year to end of H1 2022) as part of its high-budget Originals strategy, IP-based commissioning is generally the highest for studio-backed platforms like Paramount+ and Disney+ as they turn to internal - and primarily US-based - IP and franchises for their new commissions. But this share is slowly decreasing for these studio platforms as they gradually increase their international footprint. For Disney+, IP-based titles represented 35% of its global new Originals output in the first half of 2022, down from over 60% in 2020.
“An increasingly competitive streaming landscape has been pushing Originals centre stage in SVoD content strategies, and the leading players have been ramping up their investment in commissions. As a result, investment in original content has grown from a quarter of their total content spend in 2019 to over half this year. With such significant budgets available but also at stake, leading global streamers are increasingly turning to pre-existing IP, and recognisable franchises and brands to attract and retain subscribers, and reduce the risk associated with commissioning Originals. Drawing on pre-existing IP capitalises on established and successful content and is more likely to attract subscriber attention and positive reception than new brand content,” Cyrine Amor, Analyst at Ampere Analysis said.
The two leading independent SVoD players, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video have the lowest share of IP-based projects. While leading by Originals spend level and commissioning output, Netflix has the lowest share of IP-based titles at 32%, a share that is steadily on the rise in the US market. The streaming giant is primarily drawing on book adaptations as the IP base but is also increasingly in a position to tap into some of its own hit titles and franchises to develop new Originals (e.g., its Stranger Things spin-off).
Warner Bros. Discovery’s platform Discovery+ has the lowest rate of IP-based titles (19%) due to its primarily Unscripted Originals slate. Overall, the share of IP-based titles is lower for Unscripted than Scripted commissions, although an increasing proportion of Unscripted Reality and Entertainment content is drawing on pre-existing formats for remakes, spin-offs, or reboots, for example.