Fremantle appears to be going from strength to strength as its parent company RTL Group announced record growth levels in their latest annual report, with revenue rising by 21.9%. As RTL commits to more investment in content in the future, Show Tracker reveals the key trends in Fremantle’s sales that we are likely to see continue.
Fremantle are following a global trend of increasing sales to SVOD series with comparatively fewer sales to broadcasters. For Fremantle, this trend has been boosted further by its multi-market deal for ‘Bosch: Legacy’ on Amazon Prime. This same deal is responsible for the growth of AVOD sales in the 2021/22 season, as the series was picked up as a Freevee Original by Amazon in key markets like the US.
Other titles such as ‘The Responder’ have been sold to a variety of different service types as part of individual licence agreements. This includes Pay TV channels such as Canal+, Free TV such as SVT (in this case as a digital exclusive on SVT Play) and even Studio SVODs such as Disney+. This shows Fremantle are still happy to engage in individual licence agreements, and the increase of global SVOD sales does not mean a priority on multi-market or global deals.
The way content sold by Fremantle is utilised by services can reveal how Fremantle are adapting their distribution strategy. With broadcast buyers demanding more boxsets Fremantle have been happy to offer more catch-up options to cover their broadcast parters needs.
On the VOD side however, buyers of Fremantle series have moved away from boxsets to stacking content. Nearly half of Fremantle’s sales were a Part-Stack (meaning some of the season was released as a boxset and the other half as a stack). This could be reflective of the trend seen in almost all SVOD services, with the exception of Netflix, moving away from prioritising the boxset binge over weekly releases.
As many studios licence content to their own SVOD services rather than third parties buyers, the Fremantle catalogue of premium dramas is still in high demand from local buyers. By doing a number of deals with a large range of sales targets, the distributor is favourably positioned to take advantage of the shortfall in supply of independent content and achieve their target of becoming a €3 Billion company by 2025.