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Report: Commercial broadcasters need bold streaming strategies to reclaim lost ground

According to Ampere Analysis, broadcasters need to invest in VoD platforms and enhance digital capabilities to meet the challenges of audiences transitioning to streaming

Ampere Analysis has released its latest report into the challenges faced by Europe’s largest commercial broadcasters.

The company predicted that spending by subscription video-on-demand (SVoD) in Europe’s major TV markets will reach €10 billion in 2024, surpassing investment made by the region’s commercial broadcasters in original and acquired content. Broadcasters are facing competition from streamers as well as budgetary pressures and falling viewer engagement, said the company.

According to Ampere’s Media Consumer Behaviour tracker, commercial broadcasters across Europe’s big five markets – Germany, France, the UK, Spain and Italy – have experienced an average decline of 16 per cent in consumer engagement since 2016, equating to a fall of nearly €1 billion in the linear TV advertising market over the past decade.

Despite this, broadcasters have demonstrated adaptability by focusing on streaming strategies, added the report. However, their content spending budgets have reduced by 19 per cent since 2016, even with their TV and film content investments totalling €8 billion in 2023.

Ampere said investment by global streamers in European-sourced content is predicted to grow by 8 per cent year-on-year in 2025, against the annual growth rate of 35 per cent seen between 2021 and 2024. Companies such as Netflix, Disney and Warner Bros Discovery are scaling back spend, which, said the company, paves the way for national broadcasters to capitalise on the shift. The company also said sustaining or increasing content investment is “crucial” as global streamers adopt more conservative strategies, with bold commissioning decisions setting them apart to drive engagement and revenue.

Additionally, the report highlighted the importance of prioritising audience transition to streaming to ensure long-term relevance. This, said Ampere, involves investing in VoD platforms, expanding content libraries, enhancing digital advertising capabilities, experimenting with content release strategies across linear and VoD, and tailoring content output towards younger demographics.

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