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Black Nights 2022 – Industry@Tallinn & Baltic Event

Industry Report: Distribution, Exhibition and Streaming

Ampere Analysis unveils trends in European co-production models, market shifts for streamers and broadcasters

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In her presentation at Industry@Tallinn, analyst Lottie Towler focused on scripted commissions and provided an up-to-date market overview which may help European producers find co-production partners

Ampere Analysis unveils trends in European co-production models, market shifts for streamers and broadcasters
Lottie Towler during the presentation

On 21 November, the Nordic Hotel Forum’s Capella hosted a second presentation by Ampere Analysis analyst Lottie Towler (see the news on the first), titled “How to Meet Your Match in Co-Production?” At the talk organised by Industry@Tallinn and Baltic Event, Towler provided the industry audience in attendance with a highly insightful contribution which may help European producers to find co-production partners and decision makers to gain an up-to-date overview of the latest market developments.

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First, Towler highlighted how “European co-productions are up by 25% on a year-on-year basis in 2022 so far, and they’ve also remained fairly consistent as a proportion of total European commissions […]. However, if we look at just scripted commissions alone, the picture is less positive […], as European scripted co-productions are declining in absolute terms and as a proportion of total European commissions,” she further explained. The first two reasons behind these trends are the effects of COVID-19, and the rise of unscripted investments owing to “the economic pressures faced by TV groups and streamers alike”. Moreover, CEE co-productions are down – in particular, those involving Russia and Ukraine, for obvious reasons. It’s worth noting that before the war, these made up a significant proportion of those staged within the region.

That being said, German and US companies are the biggest commissioners of European scripted co-productions, with the former commissioning 24 new projects and the latter 19, followed by France (15), the UK (12) and Italy (ten). Zooming in on broadcasters, we can notice ZDF, RAI and ARD “leading the way”, with 12, nine and eight scripted co-productions, respectively. Notably, 80% of these co-commissions are cross-market collaborations.

However, Ampere Analysis figures reveal that for CEE co-commissioners, commercial free-to-air companies (43% in 2022, whilst the average for Western Europe is 12%) and AVoD/FAST players are more prevalent (14%, with the European average standing at 2%). In broader terms, collaborations between public broadcasters are the most common source of co-commissions (40%), followed by those between public broadcasters and SVoD players (15%).

In terms of genres, crime and thrillers dominate European co-production, and in particular the slates offered by SVoD players (43%) and pubcasters (49%). Popular themes include police dramas, with female protagonists (alternatively, a duo of leads, one male and one female) and urban settings being very common. Adaptations are also widespread, particularly from book IPs.

Speaking about geographical differences, Towler pointed out how this is an important factor to take into account when it comes to demand for content. The figures provided by Ampere show that there is a significant appetite for kids’ content produced in France, dramas from Spain, the UK and Austria, and crime and thriller stories from Ireland, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands.

Finally, Towler noted how co-productions with Netflix and Amazon are declining, but new players – in particular, Apple, Disney and Paramount – are showing potential, owing to their recent expansion.

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