The Drive New Buyers Report, compiled by WorkShare Consulting, revealed that VOD numbers had risen by 32% over the past four years, from 2270 in 2017 to 3015 in 2020.
The report also highlighted the rapid expansion of international sales recorded by UK content producers versus domestic sales in the years running up to the Covid-19 pandemic.
UK production companies saw their international revenue growth surge by more than 200% over the past six years. In 2013, international sales made up around 17% (£500m ($696m)) of total revenues, while at the end of 2019, it had grown to 39% (£1.6bn).
Across the same period, domestic revenue increased from £2.2bn to £2.5bn – a growth of just 16%.
The report, commissioned by UK-based content distribution and financing firm Drive, also highlighted the boom in factual and factual entertainment programming at the start of the pandemic.
These genres briefly represented 40% of all commissioning by streamers such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, CuriosityStream and Facebook Watch, as scripted production ground to a halt in Q2.
Drive joint MD’s Lilla Hurst and Ben Barrett said: “Domestic growth has largely stagnated for the UK production sector and it’s clear that many new buyers – of which many more may have launched during the pandemic itself – provide UK producers, particularly in the factual space, more opportunities than ever to create vital international revenue streams.”