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European Media Outlook Report 2023

EU Media Outlook Report 2023 7x3

The first European Media Industry Outlook report was launched at Cannes by Thierry Breton, European Commissioner for Internal Market. The report explores demand and supply trends in the audiovisual, video games and news media sectors.

It was compiled using consumer surveys, questionnaires, structured stakeholders input and secondary sources to analyse the competitiveness of the EU industry, provide market overviews, technology trends and emerging production and consumption patterns.

For the analysis, the media sector was split into three 3 main sectors - the audiovisual sector (focusing on streaming), video games, and news media – each including several segments. The research assesses supply and demand-side market trends as well as technological developments in all three sectors.

Some of the report's key findings and identified trends include:

  • Overall revenues are recovering but there are stark differences in dynamics across EU media segments. To provide an order of magnitude, the media subsectors’ market size is estimated at EUR 91.4 billion for the audiovisual sector, EUR 23.5 billion for the video games sector and EUR 19.8 billion for news media.
  • Video games experience the fastest growth, the audiovisual sector gradually recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic and parts of news media are shrinking. Revenue dynamics between specific segments greatly differ: VoD, console and mobile games, immersive/XR content as well as digital news are driving growth, while cinema, printed press, and PC games are struggling.
  • The EU industrial fabric is characterised by a multiplicity of small companies, while turnover is driven by larger ones. In the EU industry, SMEs account for 99.8% of all companies active in the media markets. Larger companies – mostly in broadcasting – account for over 50% of the total turnover of the media and employ over 45% of the one million strong media workforce.
  • More than ever, intellectual property is a strategic asset for media companies. In a context of fierce international competition, the ability of the European media industry, including content creators, to retain, acquire and exploit intellectual property rights appears fundamental in order to increase revenues, invest and remain independent. For example, transmedia franchises, which increasingly meet commercial success, rely on the exploitation of intellectual property rights, and have so far benefited many non-EU players. The consultation of producers underlined that many EU players considered such further exploitation potentially valuable, but difficult to take advantage of, including due to the terms of their contracts.
  • In the audiovisual sector, the research reveals imbalances in the retention and ownership of intellectual property rights, in particular between European producers and broadcasters/streamers. Producers report a tendency to include in contracts the transfer of all intellectual property rights in European works (e.g. film/TV series) in exchange of an upfront payment – referred to as ‘buyout practices.’ The perception is that non-EU streamers and broadcasters would be significantly more likely to keep the intellectual property rights compared to EU players. This is taking place in a context of reported increasing business between producers and streamers.
  • News Media sector: EU citizens still trust traditional media well ahead of the internet, in spite of recently identified trends such as news avoidance. They also value the role of news for society and the variety of themes and topics covered by news organisations. Yet, the sector is under continuous transformation, as a result of digitalisation and changes in consumption habits. Legacy media have increased their presence online in order to remain relevant and serve citizens, where other players, such as social media platforms, are also used as a source of news. The news media market remains fragmented at EU level and is composed mainly of small companies (less than 10 employees), while nearly all the turnover lies within the largest players (i.e. TV broadcasters). The main types of news outlets analysed have different growth trajectories. Revenues have steadily dropped for the printed press, moderately growing for TV and radio, and are significantly increasing for digital news.
  • News media organisations are developing avenues to become more viable especially online - from new business models to community-building, as well as revenue diversification, bundled content offers and innovations in news media formats (e.g. driven by AI). They are also exploring new ways to exploit their content online, for example by concluding agreements with online platforms for the use of their publications, following the new rules introduced in the EU Copyright Directive 2019.

You can download the full European Media Industry Outlook report from our website.

There is also a leaflet summary of the report available here.

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