Report: SVOD Scripted Original Content Is Often Not Original
November 28, 2022
Streaming video services frequently tout new programming to subscribers as original content when in fact the shows are often based on pre-existing intellectual property, according to a new report.
New data from Ampere Analysis found that “original” content based on adaptations, franchises and other forms of pre-existing intellectual property (IP) accounted for 64% of top SVOD services’ slate of new scripted programming in the United States in the first half of 2022.
When including unscripted reality-based content, 42% of new movies and first-run originals was based on pre-existing IP, while 28% of international content was based on pre-existing programming. Ampere said North American SVOD services have increased their share of IP-based commissions by seven percentage points over the past two years.
The report found that 53% Apple TV+ original programming through the first half of 2022 was based on pre-existing IP — tops among seven platforms that include Paramount+, Disney+, HBO Max, Discovery+, Prime Video and Netflix.
IP-based commissioning is generally the highest for studio-backed platforms such as Paramount+ and Disney+ as they turn to internal — and primarily U.S.-based — IP and movie franchises for their new original content. But this share is slowly decreasing as they gradually increase their international footprint. For Disney+, IP-based titles represented 35% of its global new originals in the first half of 2022, down from more than 60% in 2020.
Meanwhile, Netflix and Prime Video have the lowest share of IP-based projects. While leading by originals spend level and output, Netflix has the lowest share of IP-based titles at 32%, a share that is steadily on the rise in the U.S. market. The streaming giant is primarily drawing on book adaptations as the IP base, but also increasingly in a position to tap into some of its own titles and franchises (i.e., “Stranger Things”) to develop new content.
That said, one of Netflix’s most-popular programs is “Manifest,” the former NBC drama canceled in 2021 after three seasons. Netflix licensed the series about a time-traveling commercial airline flight and then commissioned an original fourth and final season.
Discovery+ has the lowest rate of IP-based titles (19%) due to its primarily reality TV-based slate. Overall, the share of IP-based titles is lower for unscripted content than scripted, although an increasing percentage of reality programming is drawing on pre-existing formats for remakes, spin-offs or reboots.
“[The] investment in original content has grown from a quarter of [SVOD’s] total content spend in 2019 to over half this year,” Cyrine Amor, analyst at Ampere Analysis, said in a statement. “Drawing on pre-existing IP capitalizes on established and successful content and is more likely to attract subscriber attention and positive reception than new brand content.”