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EUROPEAN PRODUCT PLACEMENT INSIGHTS – AUGUST 2023

Welcome to the European Product Placement Newsletter, a round-up of global stories and industry news from across the last few weeks!

Some highlights this month include:

  • Barbie and Oppenheimer continue to rule the U.K. and Ireland box office for the third consecutive weekend with a combined £13.4 million.
  • BFI launches global data hub for the UK indie sector.
  • Revenues in the U.K. streaming sector soared 21.5% year-on-year to £3.3 billion from 2022.BBC Creative Diversity’s spend exceeds £112 million target.
Barbie movie

ITV READY TO FILL U.S. PROGRAMMING SCHEDULES IMPACTED BY HOLLYWOOD STRIKES, BUT WON’T CHARGE PREMIUM PRICES

U.K. commercial broadcaster ITV is ready to step into the breach in case of U.S. programming schedules being impacted down the line because of the ongoing SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes. “We are hoping for a swift resolution [to the strikes]” said Julian Bellamy, MD of ITV’s production arm ITV Studios. “In terms of the broader point, one of our strengths is a strong U.K. and international pipeline and we do have a distribution arm that offers a catalogue of 90,000 hours. So we’re in a good position to take advantage of any opportunities that arise.” “Or to just to help,” added ITV CEO Carolyn McCall. “What we’ll be doing is to see whether we can help fill their schedules. We’re not going to be charging premiums, by the way, we think we should be offering our customers what they [want] from our catalogue if they require it.” READ MORE

‘BARBENHEIMER’ STAYS ATOP U.K. BOX OFFICE AS ‘MEG 2,’ ‘TMNT’ MAKE STRONG DEBUTS

Barbie and Oppenheimer ruled the U.K. and Ireland box office for the third consecutive weekend with a combined £13.4 million ($17 million), per numbers from Comscore. Warner Bros.’ Barbie topped the charts again with £7.9 million and now has a total of £67.5 million. In second place, Universal’s Oppenheimer collected £5.4 million for a total of £39.1 million. In third position, Warner Bros.’ Meg 2: The Trench debuted strongly with £3.7 million, while Paramount’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem was close behind in fourth place with £3.6 million. READ MORE

DISNEY+ TO LAUNCH AD-SUPPORTED SUBSCRIPTION PLAN IN EUROPE IN NOVEMBER

Streamer Disney+ will launch its ad-supported subscription plan across several European countries in November. The ad tier was launched in the U.S. in December 2022. From Nov. 1, the new standard with ads, in addition to standard and premium subscription plans, will be available in the U.K., France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. The standard plan and standard with ads will come with video quality of up to full HD 1080p with two concurrent streams and sound in 5.1 and stereo. The premium plan will have up to 4K UHD (ultra high definition) and HDR (high dynamic range) video quality, four concurrent streams, and Dolby Atmos sound. Downloads are not allowed in standard with ads and are in the other two tiers. READ MORE

U.K. STREAMING REVENUES SOAR 21% TO $4.1 BILLION IN FLAT MARKET, MEDIA REGULATOR STUDY REVEALS

Revenues in the U.K. streaming sector soared 21.5% year-on-year to £3.3 billion ($4.1 billion) from 2022, a study from media regulator Ofcom has revealed. The growth is driven by a combination of price rises – notably by Netflix in March 2022 and Amazon in September 2022 – and overall growth in subscriptions, which increased from 39.7 million in Q4 2021 to 42.2 million in Q4 2022, the Media Nations U.K. 2023 study says. Netflix accounted for half of all SVOD revenue in 2022, with the four largest services, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ and Sky’s Now, taking a 93% market share. Of these, Netflix accounted for £1.61 billion, Prime Video £778 million, Disney+ £383 million and Now £253 million. READ MORE

‘HUNGER GAMES,’ ‘LORD OF THE RINGS’ FRANCHISES TO STREAM ON PRIME VIDEO IN FRANCE UNDER LANDMARK DEAL WITH METROPOLITAN FILMEXPORT

Amazon Prime Video France has signed a multi-year deal with leading French independent distributor Metropolitan FilmExport to bring over 100 movies to local subscribers. Metropolitan FilmExport ranks as one of France’s top purveyors of U.S. franchise films, such as Lord of the Rings, Hunger Games, and John Wick. As such, this deal positions Prime Video in France as a home for premium content for wide audiences. The streamer will also get access to new movies, which will land straight on the service in France without being released in local theaters and will be labeled Prime Video Exclusives. These include the Gerard Butler title Kandahar directed by Ric Roman Waugh and Kali, Julien Seri’s (Yamazaki) action-packed revenge film starring Sabrina Ouazani. Prime Video also picked up Kali for Latin America, along with France. READ MORE

‘BARBIE’ SOUNDTRACK MAKES HISTORY IN UK SINGLES CHART

Barbie’s all-conquering reach has extended to the UK music charts, where the movie’s soundtrack album has broken records. Just a week after the film was released in the UK, three tracks have all arrived in the top five of the official singles chart. This is the first time this has happened, according to those supervising the chart. The BBC reports that the film has further made history, with a total of six tracks from the soundtrack in the top 40. READ MORE

ALL3MEDIA STILL UP FOR GRABS BUT HEFTY DEBT PILE & $1.3B VALUATION COULD SLOW DOWN SALE OF ‘THE TOURIST’ & ‘TRAITORS’ FIRM

Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) and Liberty Global’s bid to sell The Tourist and Traitors maker All3Media could be hampered by concerns over a hefty debt pile and weighty £1B ($1.3B) valuation. Despite ITV pulling out of the running for the super-indie last month, our sources remain confident that a deal will ultimately be made but several have told us that challenges in the global economy could hold up the process and that interested parties still have multiple concerns. READ MORE

Barbenheimer

BFI LAUNCHES GLOBAL DATA HUB FOR UK INDIE SECTOR

The BFI has found a new way to give indies a helping hand. The TV and film organization this morning launched the UK Global Screen Fund Data Hub, a free resource aimed at providing the independent sector international VoD data and insights into demand and content value. The BFI says the ultimate aim is “assisting UK content creators, distributors, sales agents, and financiers to make better-informed decisions, devise data-driven strategies and enhance the global opportunities for UK content.” READ MORE

‘FERRARI’ PRODUCER ANDREA IERVOLINO INVESTS $55 MILLION IN FILM STUDIO NEAR FLORENCE, ITALY

Italian producer Andrea Iervolino, whose credits include Michael Mann’s FerrariWaiting for the Barbarians, and Tell It Like a Woman, has invested around 50 million euros ($55 million) in the construction of Tuscany Film Studios, a technologically advanced studio with the largest virtual set in Italy, and a 360 studio for live-action productions. The production facility, which is being built just outside Florence, will also host a movie theater and luxury hotel with the aim of attracting premium international productions to Italy. Construction will begin in fall 2023 with the goal of completing the facility by the end of 2024. READ MORE

BBC ACHIEVES £112M INVESTMENT INTO DIVERSE TV & RADIO CONTENT ONE YEAR AHEAD OF TARGET

The BBC has invested a total of £128.5m into TV & Radio content in the first two years of its Creative Diversity Commitment – exceeding the original commitment of £112m into on-screen and on-air diversity and inclusion. The BBC has broadcast a huge array of TV programmes across the year that authentically reflects our audiences, nurturing diverse voices and working with diverse casts and crews. The three-year commitment (from 2021/22 – 2023/24) to invest a minimum of £112m – £100m for TV and £12m for Radio – has focused efforts to ensure diversity is integrated into the way the BBC commissions programmes across all genres, both on and off screen and air. In the second year of the commitment, the BBC invested £61m in supporting a total of 118 TV programmes. This follows a £59m investment in the first year across 92 programmes. In addition, £8.5m has been invested in supporting nearly 290 diverse Radio commissions over the past two years. READ MORE

Special thanks to Hannah Butters for her contributions to this newsletter.

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