Please wait...
Please wait...

European broadcasters must resist cuts and embrace streaming – Ampere

UK-based research firm Ampere Analysis has called on Europe’s commercial broadcasters to take advantage of a forecast slowdown in spending by the major streaming services over the next few years.

The latest forecasts by Ampere predict spending by SVoD platforms will reach €10bn (US$10.75bn) in Europe’s major TV markets in 2024, surpassing the investment in original and acquired content by commercial broadcasters, who now face major challenges from streamers, increased pressure on their own content budgets and falling viewer engagement levels.

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 fall 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. Their content budgets have fallen by 19% since 2016 but they have continued substantial investment in film and TV content, amounting to €8bn in 2023.

Ampere says the next few years present a strategic opportunity for broadcasters as streamers tighten the purse strings.

Investment in European-sourced content by global streamers is forecast to grow by just 8% year-on-year in 2025, compared with an average annual growth rate of 35% between 2021 and 2024. Industry giants including Netflix, Disney and Warner Bros Discovery are scaling back streaming spending 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, the report says.

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 VoD 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, adds: “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 cutthroat TV market.”

Please wait...