SVOD race, Covid boost European M&A spree | Media Analysis | Business | News | Rapid TV News
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The 2021 version of the annual report by the European Audiovisual Observatory into the AV industry in Europe has found that the leading companies by operating services revenues showed resilience to Covid-19 while M&A activity has been pushed up by the streaming rush and the pandemic crisis.
Euro avisual obs 18Jan2022
The Top Players In The European Audiovisual Industry – Ownership And Concentration / 2021 Edition report aimed to shed light in terms of revenues as well as other performance indicators specific to key audio-visual market segments. The analysis provides snapshots of the top AV players and explores concentration, statute, and origin of ownership.

The basic finding was of an industry that showed the top AV players in Europe were eclectic as regards their portfolio of leading activities. SVOD remained the most concentrated AV market in Europe in terms of subscriptions while PSBs accounted for one third of global viewing consumption in Europe.

The cumulated operating AV services revenues of the top 100 audio-visual companies in Europe grew slightly more than average inflation and the overall market, up 7.7% compared with 2016 at the end of 2020. The growth was driven solely by the private sector, increasing12% over the same period, with over 75% of the incremental revenues cumulatively delivered alone by pure SVOD players such as Netflix, Amazon and DAZN. By contrast, the revenues of the traditional players have stagnated, with businesses relying on advertising being more severely affected and PSBs weight dropping by 3% over the five-year period, down to 31% in 2020.

Concentration remains similar over the analysed period, with the top 20 players accounting for around 70% of the top 100 European AV groups by operating revenues. Although this percentage is much higher in the private sector (85%), it still shows less concentration when compared with the US market.

With the top four OTT platforms controlling over 70% of subscriptions, SVOD stood out as the most concentrated audio-visual market segment in Europe, followed by pay TV with 72% of subscriptions cumulated by the top 20 pay-TV operators.

Even if under-represented in terms of volume (9% of TV channels and 3% of on-demand audio-visual services), PSBs accounted for one third of global viewing consumption in Europe and almost all of them were offering at least one on-demand service by the end of 2020.

The degree of internationalisation was on the rise regarding US interests for the five-year period, rising 4% to 31% of the top 100 revenues in 2020, with a preference for prioritising direct as opposed to traditional indirect investments. While the share of US interests was by far the highest in the SVOD market (78%) at the end of 2020, their contribution as (executive) producers of European TV fiction titles remained limited, totalling 6% of the total number of TV fiction titles produced in Europe between 2015-2019.

M&A activity helped bolster the top 100 players’ revenues in Europe and the top 100 developed between 2016 and 2020 against a very dynamic backdrop of consolidations and divestments which was boosted by the SVOD race and to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Top Players In The European Audiovisual Industry – Ownership And Concentration / 2021 Edition report Top Players In The European Audio-Visual Industry – Ownership And Concentration / 2021 Edition report concluded by noting that looking to obtain more premium content at competitive prices, seeking to pair that content with strong distribution, aiming to build strong convergent telco offers, eyeing territorial expansion or refocusing on strongholds were just a few of the rationales followed by players in their quest to strengthen their market positions.