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Distribution / Releases / Exhibitors - Europe

Industry Report: Distribution, Exhibition and Streaming

The European Audiovisual Observatory publishes a new report on the circulation of European films on VoD platforms and in cinemas

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On a daily average, European consumers can access over 8,500 European films on VoD in their home countries, of which almost 7,000 are non-domestic European titles

The European Audiovisual Observatory publishes a new report on the circulation of European films on VoD platforms and in cinemas

Last week, the European Audiovisual Observatory has published a new report titled "Circulation of European films on VoD and in Cinemas."

The research, authored by Christian Grece, aims to provide "initial insight into the circulation of theatrical European non-national films on VoD and to take a closer look at metrics which could explain VoD availability." The metrics in question are commercial success (measured by admissions); significance of theatrical exploitation (measured by theatrical release markets); perceived quality (measured by IMDb ratings and film awards); recentness of films (measured by year of production) and origin of films (observed by country of production).

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The study covers 20 EU countries (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Spain, Finland, France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Latvia, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden and Slovakia) and the UK. These countries were selected “based on comprehensive data on films released in cinemas and films available in VoD catalogues, in order to permit a direct comparison.”

According to some figures dated May 2021, on average, European consumers may have access to 8,528 European films on VoD in their countries, of which 6,958 are European non-domestic titles, on any given day. This compares to an average of 3,394 European films released in cinemas from 1996 to 2020, of which 2,244 are of European, non-domestic origin.

Moreover, out of the 27,944 European films released in cinemas in the 21 countries (1996–2020), 16,515 films (59%) were available on VoD in May 2021 in at least one country.

The offer of theatrically released European non-domestic films on VoD in May 2021 was on average 71% higher than the number of European non-domestic films released in cinemas from 1996 to 2020 in a given country.

On average, 3,336 theatrically released European non-national films are available on VoD, compared to 1,949 European non-national films released in cinemas in the 25-year period. The report justifies these figures by explaining that “VoD services offer the most successful European non-national films released in cinemas in the country (1,072 on average, 48% of theatrically released European non-national films in the country from 1996 to 2020 are available on VoD, representing 83% of admissions to European non-national films) and increase their offer of theatrical European non-national films by offering on average 2,264 films released in cinemas in other European countries but not the country of VoD availability.”

In conclusion, the research finds that commercial and theatrical success is the main driving factor for VoD availability for European non-domestic films, since titles available on VoD have an above-average level of admissions while those not available on VoD suffer from a below-average level of admissions. In addition, the study argues that “the importance of the theatrical release is also correlated to later VoD availability” and that “82% of films not available on VoD had one theatrical release market, often in their home market.” Another driver for VoD availability is given by the awards granted by major international and national film festivals. In broader terms, the report highlights an “increased VoD availability with recentness of film” as well as titles from high-volume and mid-volume production countries recording “a high percentage of theatrical film titles available on VoD services,” in comparison with the smallest ones, characterised by “a low share of film titles available on VoD services after theatrical exploitation.”

You can access the full document here.

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