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Ampere: Europe’s Pay-TV Operators Must Embrace Streaming Video to Remain Competitive

Ampere: Europe’s Pay-TV Operators Must Embrace Streaming Video to Remain Competitive

With content spending by subscription streaming VOD platforms in Europe set to reach €10 billion ($10.7 billion) this year, new data from Ampere Analysis suggests this spending surpasses the investment made by the region’s commercial broadcasters in original and acquired content. As a result, the London-based research firm contends European broadcasters face major challenges from strong competition from deep-pocketed streamers, increased pressure on their own content budgets and falling viewer engagement levels.

According to Ampere’s Media Consumer behavior tracker, which conducts biannual interviews with 2,000 consumer respondents, commercial broadcasters have seen an average 16% decline in consumer engagement across Europe’s big five markets since 2016. The result is a decline of nearly €1 billion ($1.07 billion) in the linear-TV advertising market over the past decade. Indeed, Ampere reports broadcaster content spending budgets have reduced by 19% since 2016, even as they continue substantial investments in film and TV content, totaling €8 billion ($8.6 billion) in 2023.

The next few years present an opportunity for broadcasters amidst a slowdown in spending by the major streaming services, according to Ampere. Investment by global streamers in European sourced content is forecast to grow by 8% year-on-year in 2025, compared to an average annual growth rate of 35% between 2021 and 2024.

Industry giants such as Netflix, Disney, and Warner Bros. Discovery are scaling back streaming spend growth to ensure sustained profitability, paving the way for national broadcasters to capitalize on this shift, according to Ampere. 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.

However, content spending strategies are not the only issue as broadcasters must also prioritize the transition of audiences to streaming to ensure their long-term relevance, according to Ampere. This involves investing in their video-on-demand 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.

“Despite the short-term benefits of cutting costs during economic downturn, prioritizing long-term investment in both content and streaming capabilities is crucial for commercial broadcasters to maintain prominence in Europe’s cut-throat TV market,” Neil Anderson, senior analyst at Ampere Analysis, said in a statement.

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