Cheers in front of the TV trade fair: More than 1.2 billion streaming subscriptions

They bring distraction from the crisis on the doorstep: streaming services are among the winners of the corona pandemic. “There has never been a greater demand than now,” reports industry expert Lucy Smith in an interview with the German Press Agency. “You can see that, for example, from the fact that the number of subscribers to the video platforms literally exploded in 2020,” says the head of the world’s largest trade fair MIPTV in Cannes.

According to the latest figures, experts assume there will be more than 1.2 billion user accounts worldwide. This is how the New York market researcher LightShed Research calculated it. This includes only the major providers based in the USA, such as Netflix, Amazon and Disney +. Regional streaming portals in Germany come on top.

As early as mid-March, the American producers’ association Motion Picture Association from Washington cheered that the billion mark for subscriptions had been exceeded for the first time in 2020. That means a growth of 26 percent compared to the previous year.

At the most important television fair in the world, MIPTV in Cannes, which starts on Monday, there is a champagne mood. Business is going better than ever, even if MIPTV 2021 is only taking place virtually.

Local productions in particular, which are also offered worldwide, are booming more and more. “The platforms started with it, but the TV stations and other market participants are also getting in,” says Smith. Above all, European series and films are in demand, including German, French, Spanish and Swedish productions: “With content that was previously not thought to be internationally successful.”

In general, Beta, one of the largest German program distributors, has seen business develop “very well” in the last few months, according to Senior Vice President Oliver Bachert. He explains the increased demand for European productions as follows: “In the USA and Great Britain, some series were delayed due to Corona, seasons were shortened or even not continued, sports broadcasts were canceled, so the attention for European productions was even greater.” The broadcast of the tenth season of the American zombie series “The Walking Dead”, for example, simply stopped last spring and was not continued until months later.

Even if the pandemic is currently making production conditions more difficult and causing losses for the advertising-financed channels, producers are not worried. Ufa boss Nico Hofmann assumes that broadcasters would have to think carefully about how to assert themselves against the major US platforms. To do this, they needed attractive content for their own online offers: “We don’t notice an investment backlog – we’re doing better than ever.”

In times without a pandemic, around 10,000 managers from broadcasters, production companies, program distributors, internet platforms and media groups from all over the world cavort at the world’s largest TV trade fair, MIPTV in Cannes in April. This time the market place takes place from April 12-16 only digitally and shows what will soon be flickering across the screens in millions of living rooms.


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