The number of VOD services launched in the U.S., U.K. and European Union territories has increased by 32%, a new report has revealed.
Commissioned by content distribution and financing outfit Drive, the Drive New Buyers Report finds that VOD platforms have surged from 2270 in 2017 to 3015 in 2020, with 745 new service launches in just four years.
Streamers launching or expanding during this period include Acorn TV, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV Plus, Blaze, Britbox U.S., CuriosityStream, Disney Plus, Facebook Watch, HBO Max, MotorTrend Group, Netflix, NOW TV, Peacock, Quibi, Snapchat, Starz, SundanceTV, WE tv and YouTube.
The report also examines the rapid expansion of international sales recorded by U.K. content producers versus domestic sales in the years running up to the COVID-19 pandemic, and finds that U.K. production companies have seen their international revenue growth significantly outstrip that from domestic sources. In 2013, international sales made up around 17% of total revenues, which were £500 million ($698 million). By the end of 2019, it had grown to 39% to £1.6 billion. Across the same period, domestic revenue increased from £2.2 billion to £2.5 billion – a growth of just 16%.
And in figures obtained at the outset of the pandemic, the report finds that factual and factual entertainment programming briefly represented a massive 40% of all commissioning by new streamers, as scripted production ground slowed in the second quarter of 2020.
“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 joint MD’s Lilla Hurst and Ben Barrett. “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 U.K. producers, particularly in the factual space, more opportunities than ever to create vital international revenue streams.”
The Drive New Buyers Report data is gathered from a range of sources including a combination of company accounts, third-party sources and WorkShare Consulting’s own analysis.