Report: U.S. Movies Top Global VOD Distribution

New data from the European Audiovisual Observatory finds that 90% of U.S. theatrical movie releases since 1996 have migrated to video-on-demand distribution in at least one foreign country. Runner-up, the U.K., has 79% of its theatrical releases in worldwide VOD release.

At the same time, 56% of European films released in theaters between 1996 and 2020 were available on VOD in May. Compared to U.S. films, that’s a smaller share. But as there are many more European films than American movies in release theatrically, in absolute values, the number of European films migrating from the theater to VOD is 2.6 times higher than the number of U.S. films.

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The report underscores the value VOD has in expanding the consumer reach to all movies — especially lower-budget indie titles — compared with traditional theatrical exhibition. In regard to European movies, VOD brings the most additional distribution to films with 50,000 tickets sold or less.

“[The data supports the] cooperation rather than competition [between] cinema and VOD, while VOD opens up new markets to less successful films,” Gilles Fontaine, head of the Observatory’s department for market information, said in a statement.

Notably, the report found that a movie’s availability on VOD was driven by transactional VOD (59%) more than by subscription VOD (41%). SVOD’s share of VOD presence is higher for films with higher box office revenue. On a country basis, exclusivity between TVOD and SVOD seems to be the rule, with exceptions: Movies with higher admissions or originating from the U.S. were more often available both on TVOD and SVOD.


Amazon Tops Netflix as Top SVOD Buyer of European Movies

New data from the European Audiovisual Observatory finds that Amazon Prime Video is the largest streaming video buyer of European movies.

Established by the Council of Europe in 1992, the EAO found that 16 North American, three Chinese and one Russian streaming services have the largest catalogs of European-produced movies.

Amazon topped Netflix with 3,281 unique European-produced titles, followed by Netflix with 1,816 unique titles. Russian streaming service Ivi and the Chinese services Youku, iQiyi, Tencent Video were the biggest single country services acquiring European films.

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Indian service Eros Now, Canadian service Sundance Now, Viu and CBS All Access carry from three to 31 unique EU film titles in their catalogs.


The report focused on a sample of 79 non-European SVOD services and their catalogs in 21 countries across the globe.

The majority of EU films found on SVOD services around the world are produced in five countries.

The United Kingdom is the biggest supplier of EU films with 38% of all unique EU titles, followed by France with 18%, Germany with 12%, Italy with 11% and Spain with 6%.

Together, these countries account for 85% of all unique EU film titles available on SVOD outside of Europe.

The report also found that medium-size, film-producing countries contribute significantly to SVOD services.

Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Ireland export films outside of Europe. These seven countries account for 11% of all unique film titles found in the SVOD catalogs.

“With 7,450 unique film titles, EU film titles represent 14% of film titles on offer in the 79 SVOD catalogs studied,” Christian Grece, on-demand audiovisual markets analyst, wrote in the report.