Netflix, Amazon Double TV Programming, Outspend Most Countries
The largest online networks are moving away from licensed Hollywood movies and toward premium original series, rapidly changing the TV industry.
Netflix and Amazon are increasing their investments in original programming, spending a combined $7.5 billion last year. That information comes from market research company IHS Markit, which notes that the two online networks' programming budgets are greater than those for CBS, HBO, Turner, South Korea, Australia, and most other countries. Only Disney and NBC spend more on original content.
Both networks doubled their original programming budgets in the last few years. Netflix's budget rose from $2.4 billion in 2013 to $4.9 billion in 2015, while Amazon's rose from $1.2 billion in 2013 to $2.7 billion in 2015.
United States networks made up 33 percent of all TV expenditures worldwide in 2015, with a combined investment of $43 billion for linear, pay TV, and online programming. Western Europe is the next largest market with an investment of $38.6 billion. The biggest markets within Western Europe are the U.K. ($10.7 billion), Germany ($7.3 billion), France ($6.6 billion), and Italy ($4.6 billion).
In the Asia Pacific region, Japan is the largest investor, spending $9.8 billion on original programming in 2015. China is next with $8.4 billion, then South Korea with $2.6 billion.
“In what Netflix calls the era of internet TV, more and more consumers are watching content online, shaking the foundations of the traditional TV industry,” says Tim Westcott, senior principal analyst at IHS Technology.
The debut of Netflix streaming leads to rapid decreases in spending for physical media. The U.S. and U.K. have both seen DVD sales erode.
Under new rules from the European Commission, the SVOD services must ensure that at least 20 percent of their catalogs are of European origin.
Just as Netflix's domestic growth is tapering, its international investment is paying off. Netflix will have more international than domestic subs by 2018.
Netflix may still rule the over-the-top world, but broadcasters can succeed with their own VOD services by both learning from Netflix and playing to their own strengths.
The SVOD service is overhauling its program library to move from a longtail warehouse to a premium platform