Streaming is the most disruptive force in video media. Globally, streamed video services continue to grow, led by the US majors, apparently at the expense of non-streamed and advertising-dependent broadcasters.
Recent trading announcements by leading streamers and leading UK broadcasters point in two directions: streaming growth in the North American market is slowing, according to figures from Netflix and Disney, while UK public service broadcasters (PSBs) reported a strong advertising recovery in 3Q21. Both trends were influenced by the pandemic, which slowed the production of new content – this is unwinding and points to a healthy 4Q21. Similarly, leading UK PSBs expect a strong 4Q, with advertising at record levels.
Other trends are at work, however. Content spending is forecast to grow strongly, boosted by the arrival of new streamers, while Netflix and Disney continue to increase their content budgets. Investors are looking at the increased competition, rising content spend and expanding investment in new studio capacity and worry about longer-term streaming profitability.