A study by the European Audiovisual Observatory sheds light on the expansion of media firms in Europe. US companies lead the top 20, followed by public broadcasters such as ZDF and Italian RAI.
Data from the European Audiovisual Observatory suggests that ZDF and RAI content may not be the first choice for viewers in Germany and Italy. Despite the top 20 broadcaster groups analyzed experiencing above-average sales growth, ZDF and RAI ranked 18th and 15th respectively out of 20. France Télévisions placed 11th, while US companies Comcast and Netflix reached the top 3. In Germany, ARD rose to compete with the American industry leaders.
US Companies Account for 1/3 of Market Share As of 2021, US media firms among the top 100 in Europe held 1/3 of the market, primarily driven by the growth of SVoD services from Sky, Paramount+, and Disney+. Despite this, European media companies have struggled to keep pace, although companies like RTL and ProSiebenSat.1 are gradually shifting towards SVoD or ad-supported VOD models.
Comcast and Netflix Lead with 17 and 7.5 Billion Euros Comcast and Netflix are among the leading players in the European media industry with 17 and 7.5 billion euros respectively. Comcast primarily operates in Germany through its pay-TV subsidiary Sky and offers linear television, while Netflix positions itself as a pure SVOD service to attract customers. The data also shows a continued decline in the significance of linear television.
Vicious budget cycle
Declining Sales Pose Challenges for European Media Firms Decreased sales have significant consequences for European media companies. While US corporations continue to grow, European media firms have fewer resources to invest in original content, leading to increased competition in their domestic markets and an inability to compete globally with the likes of Disney, Netflix, etc. However, Europe still has a presence in the global production industry, such as Vivendi’s Studio Canal and Canal+ group.
Further growth for sure
US Media Firms Expected to Grow Stronger in Europe Previous data suggests US media companies will continue to expand their hold in Europe in the coming years. For instance, Warner Bros. Discovery, with its combined platform, is yet to establish itself in Europe. Potential future mergers between Netflix, Comcast, Paramount, and Warner could further widen the gap between US and European players.