Netflix and Amazon ‘outspending traditional TV’

Analysts say Netflix and Amazon spent $7.5 billion (€6.6 billion) last year on their own series and shows, far more than big players


Amazon spent $2.67 billion in 2015, and Netflix nearly twice as much at $4.91 billion. Photo: AP
Amazon spent $2.67 billion in 2015, and Netflix nearly twice as much at $4.91 billion. Photo: AP

Cannes, France: Online entertainment platforms Netflix and Amazon are now spending more on programmes than traditional television networks, said a new study published on Monday.

Analysts said the two streaming giants spent $7.5 billion (€6.6 billion) last year on their own series and shows, far more than big players such as the BBC and even ahead of US networks like CBS, HBO and Turner.

Netflix and Amazon more than doubled their expenditure on programming from 2013 to 2015, IHS Markit said in the first findings of its new production report released to coincide with the MIPCOM world entertainment trade show in the French resort of Cannes.

Amazon spent $2.67 billion in 2015, and Netflix nearly twice as much at $4.91 billion.

“The levels of investment we are seeing from Netflix and Amazon are only topped by Disney ($11.84 billion) and NBC ($10.27 billion),” said Tim Westcott, senior IHS senior analyst.

He said the huge sums flowing in from the big two as well as Hulu in the US and China’s Youku Tudou, iQifyi and Tencent are “shaking the foundations of the traditional TV industry”, he added.

However, he said it was very premature to declare that the era of traditional TV was over.

“Netflix and Amazon have come hard on the heels of a boom in production of original drama and comedy by the likes of (cable networks) AMC and FX in the US.”

There were 148 new drama shows aired by basic cable networks in the US last year, up from 96 in 2013, the report added.

So far this year, there have been 113 scripted basic cable shows, 78 on the networks, 31 on premium cable and 57 online.

As recently as 2012, only three online shows were made.

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