The US streaming platforms Disney+, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video are expected to account for almost a quarter of the global growth in spending on original film and TV content over the next five years. 

Between 2022 and 2027, Disney+ is expected to increase its annual investment into original content by 82.8% — the highest rate of any top media and entertainment group, according to the London-based research firm Ampere Analysis. Original content spending by the Walt Disney Company’s subscription-based, video-on-demand streaming service is expected to hit $7.7bn in 2027.


Over the same period, Amazon Prime Video placed second with an expected growth rate of almost 70% in its original content investment, reaching $6.46bn; followed by other streaming platforms Peacock (+68% to $3.13bn); Netflix (+43% to $9.7bn); and Paramount+ (+33% to $2.28bn).

Hannah Walsh, a research manager at Ampere Analysis, tells fDi that these forecasts are primarily driven by shifting consumer viewing habits away from ‘linear’ TV to online services, which has caused advertising revenues to fall for traditional TV players. 

“We are seeing a plateau in spend for linear TV channels,” she says. “Groups seeing the largest declines now also own and operate their own streaming players. We are seeing a shift in content investment towards digital players within these groups.”

This applies to commercial broadcasters, such as HBO, Discovery Domestic and NBC Universal, which are expected to reduce spending on original content by the highest rate over the next five years. Streaming platforms, including Netflix, have also moderated their spending budgets to cut costs and rolled out new subscription models, including cheaper options that come with increased advertising, in a bid to retain subscribers.  

In 2023, growth in content expenditure is expected to fall from 2022’s 6% to just 2%, according to Ampere Analysis, marking the second-lowest rate for more than a decade (after 2020). This was due to worsening economic conditions that put pressure on TV advertising and led commercial broadcasters to hold back on content spending increases. Different markets are expected to be impacted to different extents, according to Ampere, which expects the US to be the hardest hit country in 2023 with annual declines of 2% in content spending. 

Following its first ever decline in global subscriber in the second quarter of 2022, Netflix said it would plateau its total content spending to $17bn through 2023. Ms Walsh notes that there have been other shifts in types of content and genres in recent years, including more unscripted content being commissioned, which is typically cheaper to produce.


Spending on local content in new markets has been central to streaming platforms’ strategies to push subscriber growth and has created opportunities for local job creation and economic development

“Local language programming has become increasingly popular outside of its original language markets — particularly with younger demographics who are increasingly enjoying watching subtitled and dubbed content,” says Ms Walsh, noting Netflix’s South Korean dystopian gameshow series Squid Game and French crime drama series Lupin as prime examples.

Analysts expect this to continue due to local content’s potential to attract new audiences and incentives for film production in countries from Colombia and Ghana to the UK and Poland. In 2022, half of Netflix’s total investment was spent on acquiring and producing titles in markets outside the US and UK. For Amazon Prime Video the figure was 66%. 

“[Local content] investments are important because it actually increases the total addressable market for Netflix around the world,” said Ted Sandaros, Netflix’s chief content officer, on a call with investors on January 19. “If we were just doing English content for the world, we would be mostly attracting Western-centric viewers.”