Back to Blog

Investing in European Content and Culture

31 January 2019
Investing in European Content and Culture

We have just published our latest report on public service media’s contribution to the creative economy. It contains some fascinating insights and figures that you may want to use in your own public campaigns.

  • In 2017, public service media (PSM) organizations spent EUR 18.6 billion on content - contributing hugely to the European audiovisual production sector. Spend has increased by over 5% in the last four years – at a time when PSM’s budgets have largely stagnated.
  • 84% of that spend is dedicated to original content. That’s a EUR 15.5 billion spend. This has had a huge positive impact, not only on the broadcasting sector, but on national economic growth throughout Europe.
  • 88% of PSM TV output is of domestic or EU origin.
  • The biggest programming genre for PSM is not Entertainment, as some of our critics claim, but News and Current Affairs on TV (27%) and Music together with News and Current Affairs (65%) on radio. Entertainment accounts for only 6% of TV programming.
  • Our Members generate business across the media industry.
  • For example, in European cinema, CT will support 62 films in the Czech Republic over the next three years; in France, PSM supported 89 feature films in 2017; in Italy RAI invest EUR 70 million a year on film production and the same is true of a host of other countries. It is worth noting that every single European Palme d’Or winner in the last 10 years has been supported by public service broadcasters.
  • In total, PSM invested EUR 2.8 billion on fiction productions in 2017Our Members are directly involved in 73% of all TV fiction titles produced in the EU. Compare that with just 1.2% for video-on-demand platforms such as Netflix and Amazon and you can see why it is so important.

Content is at the core of our remit. It is clear from a statistical analysis that the way PSM organisations invest in content is very different to commercial companies. The main priorities are different. That is as it should be.

At the EBU, we are keen to identify and promote new collaboration models between our Members and, this year, we will be developing the EBU Co-Production Fund to support and finance the development of innovative PSM drama content.

But our commitment to content should not just be measured financially. Just as important are the values that drive our content choices and guide our output. Universality of our offerings. Independence from outside political influence, particularly in News and Current Affairs. Excellence and innovation in what we deliver to the public. And diversity and accountability in our output, our staff and our levels of transparency.

It is this value system that underpins our strategic aims and our decisions on a day to day basis. Aims and decisions that, as we can see from our research, positively impact on European social and cultural life and deliver results that the commercial sector either cannot or chooses not to.

Relevant links and documents

Written by

Noel Curran

Director General