A new report commissioned by content specialist Drive unveiled streaming services launched in the US, UK and EU grew from 2270 in 2017 to an impressive 3015 in 2020, with 745 new service launches during that time.

Already in expansion and promoted notably due to the Covid pandemic, the OTT and content industry has been changing rapidly over the last few years.

The Drive New Buyers Report commissioned by content distribution and financing specialists Drive reveals the number of VOD services launched in the US, UK and EU territories increased by a third (32%) from 2270 in 2017 to 3015 in 2020, with 745 new service launches in just four years.

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 significantly outstrip that from domestic sources. In 2013, international sales made up around 17% (£0.5bn) of total revenues, while at the end of 2019, it had grown to 39% or £1.6bn; increasing by a total of 229% over six years. Across the same period, domestic revenue increased from £2.2bn to £2.5bn – a growth of just 16%.

And in figures obtained at the outset of the pandemic, factual and factual entertainment programming briefly represented a massive 40% of all commissioning by new streamers as scripted production ground to a halt in Q2 2020, offering a massive boost to the unscripted sector.

While there are now more opportunities for content owners and distributors than ever before, it’s also a rapidly changing landscape that can be hard to navigate, build new contacts and relationships in and keep up to date with ever-changing deal models and rights definitions. The Drive New Buyers Report aims to help producers navigate this new content industry landscape.

“We commissioned this report based on our own recent experience of the dramatic rise in VOD revenue to the business. Unsurprisingly, we’ve seen an ever-increasing rise in VOD growth over the past 3 years, and to date this shows no signs of slowing with our 2021 VOD revenues already 50% over our 2020 figures, and so on track to double by year end,” said Drive joint MD’s Lilla Hurst and Ben Barrett.

“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.”