The major global streaming platforms (Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+, Apple TV+, Paramount+ and Max/HBO Max) will invest US$42 billion in original and acquired film and TV content this year, the latest Ampere Analysis forecast suggest. This marks a slower rate of growth of 7% year-on-year, compared to the 24% growth in streaming spending witnessed in 2022.
High-budget originals in key scripted genres including Crime & Thriller, Sci-Fi & Fantasy and Comedy continue to be the primary drivers of growth. However, in light of intense competition and the influence of macroeconomic factors, SVOD platforms will prioritize cost management and effective content acquisitions to thrive in 2024 and beyond.
According to the report, of the US$42 billion in SVOD content spend dedicated to TV series and films, 90% is for scripted. Crime & Thriller tops SVOD spending, with investment expected to hit US$12 billion this year. Sci-Fi & Fantasy and Comedy genres also command substantial funds, emphasizing that high-budget scripted TV content remains the most powerful tool for attracting subscriptions and maintaining subscriber engagement, Ampere said.
At a platform level, Neflix and Prime Video adopt a balanced approach to genre allocation, leveraging their scale to cater to the preferences of diverse demographics. Other SVOD players are pursuing more targeted spending strategies, focusing on key genres and IP to cultivate loyal subscriber bases. Apple TV+, for example, dedicates 40% of its spend budget to Crime & Thriller titles, building on past successes such as “Slow Horses” and “Severance.” Disney+ has prioritized Sci-Fi & Fantasy and Children & Family genres, anchored by TV spin-offs from the Star Wars, Marvel and Pixar franchises.
At the same time, streamers are increasingly turning to Entertainment and Reality as their budgets tighten and they search for subscriber engagement at a lower cost. Spending on Unscripted content by SVOD platforms is set to hit US$4.9 billion this year, growing by 22% year-on-year, vastly outpacing the overall rise in spending by global streamers. An initial focus on Documentaries has expanded to encompass Entertainment and Reality, with a particular focus on both producing and acquiring Dating, Talk and Game show formats.
Content acquisition spend will rebound in 2024, after falling by 11% since 2021 exclusive original titles have fueled the growth of content budgets for global SVOD platforms, accounting for 67% of film and TV spend in 2023. However, the spotlight is shifting towards content acquisition strategies, poised to play an increasingly vital role. Content acquisition spend for major SVOD platforms is projected to grow by 5% next year, reaching US$14.8 billion. Crime, Romance and Drama genres lead in acquired content spending, offering substantial potential for cross-border content licensing.
“In 2023, we forecast that major global SVOD platforms will collectively invest US$42 billion in film and TV content. The moderated spending growth rate in comparison to previous years underscores the maturity of the SVOD market and the importance of strategic spending across genres. At US$15 billion, Netflix will retain its position as the top investor in global streaming content, albeit with a modest 2% increase. Meanwhile, rivals such as Disney+, Paramount+, and Apple TV+ are poised for more substantial budget expansions, projecting year-on-year increases exceeding 10%,” said Neil Anderson, Senior Analyst at Ampere Analysis.