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Streaming continues to hit new peak TV heights

Streaming’s unrelenting content increases continued in 2022, with subscription streaming services setting a new record for original shows. Luminate Film & TV counted 996 shows releasing original content across 16 major streaming services, the 12th consecutive year with an increase.

SVOD content has come a long way over the last decade. In 2012, there were nine shows on subscription services — seven on Hulu and one apiece on Netflix and Prime Video — with 2022’s total representing a growth rate of 10,967%, a quite astonishing figure no one predicted when streaming was in its infancy. While this has been aided and abetted by shortsighted decisions from traditional media, it remains quite the achievement.

In terms of annual growth, 2022’s gain of 100 shows places it fifth on the list. Some of this growth is artificial, with 2020-21’s gains fueled by the launches of major streamers HBO Max, Peacock and Discovery+, as well as niche SVODs BET+, SundanceNow, Shudder, ALLBLK and AMC+ making a push into originals.

To illustrate how competitive the domestic SVOD market has become, the above chart illustrates the percentage share each service makes up of the total number of SVOD originals per year. What’s notable is how Netflix hit its peak domination of streaming in 2019, when it accounted for almost 70% of all streaming originals. Even with the launch of multiple competitors, Netflix still had over 40% of all originals in 2022.

That translates to 439 shows, a figure that massively eclipses the 80 streaming originals second-place Discovery+ launched (but note that this figure is based on streaming shows exclusive to a service and omits any that were released first on TV and then on a streaming service). Other services to release more than 50 originals in 2022 were Prime Video, HBO Max, Peacock, Hulu, Apple TV+ and Disney+.

As noted in VIP+’s deep dive into peak cable TV, 2014 was the year with the greatest level of cable output. Back then, the only service owned by media companies with streaming originals was Hulu, with 11.

In the years since, cable networks have drastically cut back their TV content (but not, as VIP+ has noted frequently, their carriage fees for offering less content to consumers). Yet the majority of media companies operating both cable nets and streaming services now release a greater amount of content than they did at cable’s peak TV peak.

Paramount is the only member of the group that currently offers less content across streaming and cable than it did solely on cable in 2022. This points to its drastic cutback of content to try and remain competitive in cable and streaming but is notable by being the only traditional media company active in both spaces to be down on 2014 figures.

With pressure on all companies active within streaming to lessen their losses, it’s difficult to envision a future where originals continue their torrid increase. 2023 may see more total output than 2022, but it’s likely the distribution models will change, with streaming becoming more second-window than first-window for content distributed by traditional media. This year may not be the final peak TV hurrah for streaming, but it is getting close. Variety

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