U.S. rules 75% of market for web-only shows

LONDON — The U.S. continues to dominate the emerging made-for-broadband video industry, but in Europe the BBC is far and away the biggest investor in this type of content.

The U.S. and Europe spent more than £30 million ($47 million) producing made-for-broadband video content last year, a figure forecast to rise to almost $141 million by 2013, according to a report by Content Economics Research.

The U.K. lags substantially behind the U.S. in terms of the number of productions and the size of budgets. Across the Atlantic, thought to be responsible for around 75% of the market, made-for-broadband budgets routinely exceed £500,000 ($782,000).

Last year, the 10-episode drama “Circle of Ei8ht,” produced by Milchan/Van Eyssen and Paramount Digital Entertainment, had a budget thought to be around $2 million.

But in Europe, U.K. pubcasters like the BBC and Channel 4 are putting sizeable resources into web-only shows.

In fact the BBC is reckoned to have spent more money producing made-for-broadband than any other broadcaster in the world.

James Healey, director of research at Content Economics Research, said: “The collapse in the advertising and sponsorship market during the recession has seen the number of commercial projects dwindle and budgets shrink.

“It is the deep-pocketed BBC, and also Channel 4, who will drive this market in the U.K. in the near-term.”

BBC web-only productions have included drama “Signs of Life,” made by Endemol, and the spin-off from flagship soap “EastEnders,” “E20,” which since bowing Jan. 8 has received 1.7 million visits, according to Content Economics Research.

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