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The European Audiovisual Observatory publishes a new report on European animation

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- Despite European animation's high export potential, the USA and Japan remain by far the top providers of animated films

The European Audiovisual Observatory publishes a new report on European animation

The European Audiovisual Observatory has published a brand-new report titled "Animation Films and TV Series in Europe – Key Figures". Written by Marta Jiménez Pumares and Gilles Fontaine, it contains a series of key data on the production and exploitation of European animation films and TV series, including a first-ever estimate of the production of TV series.

The data is based on two main sources; the Observatory LUMIERE database (tracking the admissions of films released in Europe and in 12 major non-European markets) and the LUMIEREVOD database (tracking the composition of films and TV content in over 500 European VoD catalogues).

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On the topic of production, the study finds that Europe produces 55 animated films each year, and 37% of these are co-productions. Moreover, it highlights these works' high export potential, since about two thirds of admissions come from outside of the main producing country. Nevertheless, this still results in "a comparably low market share of cinema admissions in Europe (16% over the period 2015-2020), highly variable depending on a limited number of releases."

In total, the research estimates that the annual volume of the production of TV animation in Europe to be around 220 titles (including TV films and TV series), 5200 episodes and 830 hours. European TV animation co-productions account for 36% of all TV animation hours produced, a much higher share than for live TV fiction. France (35%) and the United Kingdom (26%) remain by far the main producers of animated TV content, followed by Germany (7%), Spain (7%), Italy (6%) and other countries (19%).

According to the report, the UK, France and Russia produce the animation with the highest number of admissions worldwide. However, the level of admissions for animation films from a given country often depends on the success of a very limited number of films, as the top 20 European animation films account for 60% of all admissions to European animation films. Among non-European countries, China is the top destination for European animation films (with an average of 6.51 million yearly admissions over the period 2015-2019), followed by the USA (2.76), Mexico (2.51), South Korea (1.22), Brazil (1.10) and Australia (0.5).

In terms of formats, the main one for TV animation is the series with 2 to 13 episodes, even though shows with more than 26 episodes per season account for 57% of hours produced. Regarding duration, short formats (episodes of less than 10 minutes) account for the majority of titles and episodes produced.

Finally, on the topic of animated content released on VoD platforms, the authors disclosed three key findings: the weight of animation is significantly high for TV content on SVoD services (22% of titles, where 1 title = 1 film or 1 TV series season); the USA (63% of the animation films present on VoD platforms) and Japan (8%) remain by far the leading providers; and the share of European works is significantly lower for animation (21%) than for all categories of works (33%). The gap concerns both SVoD and TVoD and is particularly noticeable for animation films.

You can access the full report here.

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