Streaming giants Netflix and Amazon have helped power revenues from UK television production to a record £2.7bn after spending £150m on British content last year – an increase of close to a third in a decade.
The cash bonanza from hit series such as Black Mirror and The Crown capped a stellar year for the sector as foreign on-demand providers including YouTube contributed to a 20% year-on-year spending increase.
Figures compiled by TV producers’ association Pact also showed sales of homegrown content such as Victoria, Sherlock and Midsomer Murders also contributed £218m to the total, with 13% year-on-year growth for the past three years.
Pact chief executive John McVay said: “It is inevitable those big platforms want to work with British producers, because we have a reputation for delivering creativity and quality. We want to encourage all those platforms to spend more, and they almost certainly will, as they still account for a small proportion of total commissioning spend.”
Netflix and Amazon have risen from nowhere to account for close to a third of the £549m total spend by overseas broadcasters on British content but their contributions are still dwarfed by domestic broadcasters such as ITV, Channel 4, the BBC and Sky as well as international players who spent £2.1bn.
Nevertheless, their clout shows no sign of waning with Netflix confirming that it will splurge £777m on content from across Europe this year from a total budget of approximately £6.2bn. Amazon, by comparison, is understood to have allocated some £3.9bn for film & TV content this year.