According to a new report commissioned by UK specialist sales agency Drive, 745 new VOD services launched in the United States, the United Kingdom and European territories from 2017 to 2020, an increase of 32%. The “Drive New Buyers Report,” assembled by WorksShare Consulting, found the number of VOD services in those regions grew from 2.270 in 2017 to 3.015 in 2020, highlighting the explosion in interest in VOD content.
The report also determined that UK content producers’ international sales far outpaced domestic sales in that period, with global revenue growing from 17% of total revenues in 2013, or about £0.5 billion, to 39% (£1.6 billion) by the end of 2019, an increase of 229%. Meanwhile, domestic revenue over that same period grew from £2.2 billion to £2.5 billion, an increase of 16%.
Data also found that factual and factual entertainment programming briefly made up 40% of all UK commissions from new streamers as scripted production all but stopped in early 2020 due to the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. Those new streamers mentioned in the report include Acorn TV, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV+, Blaze, Britbox US, CuriosityStream, Disney+, Facebook Watch, HBO Max, MotorTrend Group, Netflix, NOW TV, Peacock, Quibi, Snapchat, Starz, SundanceTV, WE tv, and YouTube.
“We commissioned this report based on our own recent experience of the dramatic rise in VOD revenue to the business. Unsurprisingly, we’ve seen an ever-increasing rise in VOD growth over the past three years, and to date this shows no signs of slowing with our 2021 VOD revenues already 50% over our 2020 figures, and so on track to double by year end,” said Drive’s Joint Managing Directors Lilla Hurst and Ben Barrett in a news release.
“Domestic growth has largely stagnated for the UK production sector and it’s clear that many new buyers — of which many more may have launched during the pandemic itself, provide UK producers, particularly in the factual space, more opportunities than ever to create vital international revenue streams,” they added.