As the content business prepares for an SVOD onslaught over the next six months, distributors are again at the sharp end of disruption. Here, Richard Middleton reports back on our extensive international survey that reveals the major challenges facing the sector and an array of opportunities that have already started to emerge
Distribution of TV content has transformed over the past five years but certain genres have felt some of these changes more keenly than others.
As such, this year’s survey is broken down into four genres to reflect how different parts of the distribution business are changing and adapting to an increasingly diverse array of market forces.
The experiences of those working primarily in scripted, for example, can be considerably different to those distributing kids programming or unscripted product. Take the issue of marketing: almost 70% of respondents operating in drama and comedy said their involvement in that part of the process had increased over the past 12 months. Compare that to unscripted, where 60% of respondents said their involvement in marketing had remained the same.
The ongoing demand for scripted product was also in evidence again, with 27% of respondents working in the sector reporting that SVOD budgets had increased by more than 25% over the past year and a further 18% saying they had increased by at least 10%.
While the experiences of those operating in different parts of the distribution business do differ, there were similarities as well. Most notably, Central and Eastern Europe has become a hotspot for sales companies across the board. Over half of distributors working in unscripted programming and formats said this region was one of the fastest growing, while it was cited by 43% of kids-focused companies.
In each of the following sections below, we delve deeper into the findings and explore the challenges and opportunities facing each part of the distribution business.