The ongoing effect of industrial action has seen levels of commissioning in the United States reach an all-time low. With fewer new first-run, renewal, or movie titles announced in July 2023 than ever before, the United States was also no longer the most active commissioning country for original content, Ampere Analysis revealed in its latest report.
While the volume of US commissions remained consistent between July 2021 and July 2022, with 223 and 225 originals announced, respectively, this figure had dropped by 48% in July 2023 to just 116. July 2023 also marked the first month where the United States was not the most active commissioning market globally, being outperformed by both France and Italy.
With global VOD commissioners turning to non-US production capabilities, US streaming commissions have been the most affected by the strikes, with VOD titles representing just 25% of all commissions announced in July 2023, the lowest proportion since January 2019.
This shift away from US streaming production has, however, favored commissioners with more established international production capabilities. For example, non-US originals have always been a key area of growth for global streamer Prime Video, and July 2023 saw the company outperform rival streamer Netflix for the third month this year.
Disruption has also impacted the type of content commissioned, Ampere Analysis noted. Writers’ strikes have seen US scripted commissions at an all-time low: 26 new titles represented just a quarter of all commissions announced in July 2023.
“Highly successful international series like Netflix’s 'Squid Game' have proven global content to be more exportable than ever, and US strikes are forcing commissioners to divert their original content spending elsewhere. With more money to spend on international production, there will be an increase in high-end original content created outside of the United States. In the longer term, commissioners committing funds to long-term overseas projects also means that the effects of the strikes will continue to be felt among the US production community, long after the industrial action itself has ended,” said Olivia Deane, Senior Analyst at Ampere Analysis and the author of the report.