Ampere: Global Content Spend Topped $220 Billion in 2021, Driven by Streaming Video

What a difference a pandemic makes.

Global spending on visual content is projected to top $220 billion in 2021 — up $20 billion from 2020 when industry shutdowns due to the spread of the COVID-19 virus halted productions on movie and TV sets, according to new data from Ampere Analysis.

Leading the spending: streaming video, specifically Netflix, which reportedly spent $13.2 billion this year to lead all platforms. Rivals Apple TV+, Disney+, HBO Max, Peacock and Paramount+ spent a combined $8 billion on original content.

Overall, Comcast and Disney spent $22.7 billion and $18.6 billion, respectively, on original content this year when including all of their linear TV and theatrical operations.

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“Comcast and Disney invest heavily in sports rights, which — alongside their hefty investments in original content — contributed to their leading positions on the table,” Hannah Walsh, research manager at Ampere, said in a statement. “Sports rights made up of over a third of both Comcast and Disney’s spend in 2021.”

Indeed, Netflix co-CEO/chief content officer Ted Sarandos remains resolute that the streamer would not venture into live sports streaming, including entering bidding rights for sports leagues.

That said, Ampere said SVOD platforms upped their content spend in 2021 by 20% to about $50 billion, which is up more than 50% since 2019.

“In 2022, we expect content investment to exceed $230 billion, primarily driven by subscription streaming services, as the battle in the original content arena intensifies — both in the U.S., but also in the global markets which are increasingly key for growth,” Walsh said.

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