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Study: Rising Streaming Tide Lifts All Boats

The online industry's appetite for original content has been helping fuel a revolution in video production.

Not exactly a secret, but apparently confirmed by the findings of a new economic study, the Sky Is Rising, commissioned by the association representing those online video revolutionaries.

According to the study, The Sky is Rising, from the Computer & Communications Industry Association, the number of original scripted TV shows has more than doubled between 2009 and 2018, from 210 (an all-broadcast or cable figure) to 496, with streaming-only shows accounting for about a third of that new total at 160.

"[T]he biggest shift is that the large streaming platforms (with Netflix leading the way, and Amazon close behind) decided to not just purchase and distribute works created by studios, but to become fairly massive studios in their own right," the study says.

According to MoffettNathanson figures, NBCU, Fox, Time Warner and Disney were the biggest spenders on non-sports original content in 2017, but Netflix outspent Viacom and both Netflix and Amazon outspent CBS, Discovery and AMC.

The study was co-authored by researcher Leigh Beadon and analyst and Copia Institute CEO Mike Masnick (Techdirt). It aggregates and analyzes data from multiple sources to reach its conclusions, which include that the rise of online has lifted all boats, including cable and broadcast production.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.