It is no surprise that video streaming platforms registered rapid growth during the pandemic. More remarkable is that the global video streaming market — valued at $50bn in 2021 — is expected to grow at an average annual rate of 21.0% every year until 2030.

The top streaming services by subscribers for video and audio content are household names such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Disney+, Apple Music and Spotify. To satisfy the seemingly insatiable demand for content, services must build ever-growing content libraries. 

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Amazon spent $11bn on video and music content last year; Netflix spent more than $17bn and Disney says it will spend up to $16bn across its streaming platforms by 2024. The companies are both hungrily buying up the rights to host historic content on their platforms as well as creating their own original content.

The push for new fresh content also requires an array of facilities and locations, with sizable investments in real places. Streaming services require head offices, sales offices, production studios, data centres, filming sets and a growing cadre of at-home workers.  

Greater Los Angeles still dominates this space, with more than 300 certified sound stages, and roughly five million square feet of TV and film production space. That is nearly as much as California’s top five competitors — New York, Georgia, Louisiana, Ontario and British Columbia — combined. 

New locations are also emerging to support the burgeoning needs of the streaming platforms. Netflix expanded into New Mexico by acquiring a studio complex near Albuquerque before announcing plans to invest $1.5bn and create 1000 new jobs. Telemundo Enterprises previously selected Miami-Dade County as the location for its $250m global headquarters and Hispanic media hub for Spanish-language production. And in Toronto’s suburbs, the city of Mississauga and the province of Ontario have fast-tracked permitting processes to capture a six-stage, 450,000 square foot facility for new multi-purpose productions.

In an expanding streaming universe, insatiable demand for new audiovisual content presents a fruitful opportunity to the locations that can support it.

Gregg Wassmansdorf is a senior managing director, consulting, at Newmark, a global commercial real estate services firm, and also a member of the Site Selectors Guild. E-mail: Gregg.Wassmansdorf@nmrk.com

This article was first published in the December 2021/January 2022 edition of fDi Intelligence magazine. Read the online edition here.