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Ampere: Global Content Spend to Grow 2% in 2024, Recovering From Strike-Hit 2023 Media Play News

Rosamund Pike in MGM’s Saltburn

January 23, 2024

Backlogged productions from 2023 due to the Hollywood labor strikes suggests that global content spend will increase by 2% year-on-year, according to new data from Ampere Analysis.

The London-based research firm found that last year’s WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes action led to a two percentage point decline relative to original expectations. In 2024, broadcasters’ and streaming services’ revival of postponed productions will steady the flow of content and push global content spending back into mild growth — reaching $247 billion in 2024, up on 2023’s $243 billion.

Despite production reaching a near-complete halt in the U.S. last year, global streaming services were able to weather the storm and continue a steady delivery of new original content in 2023 with the help of non-U.S. productions.

Heavier investment in original shows and movies from markets, including Germany, India and South Korea, helped boost global streaming services’ expenditure on original content to over $27 billion, an increase of 13% from $23.9 billion in 2022.

With a continued focus on international productions, the delayed release of U.S. original titles, and an increased desire for sports rights, global streaming services are set to increase their total content spend by 7% in 2024 to $46 billion from $42.9 billion.

Separately, U.S. theatrical studios are set to see a 14% year-on-year decline in content investment in 2024 due to the after-effects of strike action, and ongoing focus on cost-efficiency in a cinema market that remains depressed post-COVID.

Notable exceptions of this trend are Amazon and Apple, which plan to increase theatrical releases. Apple will leverage theatrical content to increase brand awareness for its streaming service Apple TV+, while Amazon seeks to utilize MGM Studios after its $8 billion acquisition in 2022 for expanded Prime Video original releases.

“2023 was a worse than expected year for content spend due almost entirely to the Hollywood strikes,” analyst Hannah Walsh said in a statement. “The good news is we can look forward to a small recovery of 2% as production resumes and the U.S. election approaches.

Global streaming services are forecast to increase total content investment by 7% in 2024 and thus remain key for content spend growth, according to Walsh.

“It’s not all rosy as many studios look to cut back on theatrical releases, and broadcasters cut spending due to ongoing declines in TV advertising,” she said.

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Erik Gruenwedel

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