An Industry Transformed: Four Emerging Trends in Film & TV
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An Industry Transformed: Four Emerging Trends in Film & TV



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Four Emerging Trends in Film & TV

In 2020, the Film & TV industry experienced unprecedented growth. Amidst the global pandemic, audience demand for streaming services surged, production spending grew, and TV series budgets reached all-time highs.

The industry’s growth isn’t likely to slow down anytime soon and with the recent slew of media mergers, even more change is on the horizon.

What key developments in the Film & TV industry are worth paying attention to? Based on research compiled by Purely Streamonomics, here’s a look at the four emerging trends that could revolutionize the industry as we know it.

#1: Uptick in New Streaming Platforms

As worldwide lockdown measures drove people indoors, audience demand for home entertainment surged.

Between 2019-2020, the number of global online video subscriptions increased by 26%, reaching 1.2 billion subscriptions. This growth is expected to continue in the coming years—in fact, by 2025, subscriptions are expected to reach 1.6 billion worldwide.

In tandem with this growing audience demand, new streaming platforms are entering the market at an accelerated pace. 2020 welcomed four new subscription video on demand (SVOD) platforms: Apple TV, HBO Max, Peacock, and Disney+.

New SVOD platforms have garnered large audiences in a short amount of time. For example, Disney+ has already gained over 100 million subscribers since its launch in November 2020.

PlatformPaid Subscribers (latest available data as of June 2021)
Netflix208 million
Prime Video200 million
Tencent Video123 million
Disney+103.6 million
iQiyi101.7 million
Youku90 million
HBO Max63.9 million
AppleTV40 million
Hulu37.8 million
Eros Now36.2 million

In addition to SVOD services, advertising video on demand (AVOD) platforms—which generate revenue through ads instead of subscribers—are also gaining popularity. Some of these ad-funded services have built up larger audiences than their SVOD counterparts. For instance, IMDb’s free platform IMDbTV has 55 million monthly active users, which is more than Hulu’s number of paid subscribers.

#2: Surge in Content Spending

As more platforms emerge and audience demand grows, spending on content production continues to ramp up as well.

In 2020, a record-breaking $220.2 billion was spent on making and acquiring new feature films and TV programming—that’s a 16.5% increase compared to production spending in 2019.

Where in the world is all this production spending coming from? Perhaps unsurprisingly, over two-thirds of global spending in 2020 came from the U.S. and Canada.

Region2020 Production Spending% Change (YoY)
U.S. & Canada$149.3 billion16.1%
Latin America$5.2 billion32.9%
Europe$32.6 billion11.8%
Africa & Middle East$2.8 billion46.3%
Asia$27.7 billion19.8%
Oceania$0.9 billion32.5%

Despite Hollywood’s dominance, it’s worth noting that smaller markets in regions such as Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East experienced significant growth in 2020.

#3: Spending on Indie Content Rises

With overall content spending at an all-time high, the independent film (indie) market is experiencing growth as well. In fact, of the billions spent on content production, over half went to indie filmmakers.

Keep in mind, this estimate includes direct spending on indie content, along with indirect funding through licensing and co-financing agreements with big studios. In other words, players like Disney and Warner Bros. still technically produce the most content—however, they often outsource production work to independent filmmakers, or buy the rights to indie content, to distribute on their streaming platforms.

All in all, global spending on indie content increased by 25.3% in 2020, year-over-year. And this indie growth could continue into 2021 and beyond, as distributors and streaming giants rush to fill their content pipelines that have run dry because of production challenges and delays caused by COVID-19.

#4: TV Budgets Continue to Soar

As more competition enters the streaming market, producers are facing pressure to up their production value so they can keep their audience’s attention. In other words, because the stakes are getting higher, the cost of production is rising—especially for TV.

In 2020, the budget for an average TV series in the U.S. was $59.6 million, a 16.5% increase year-over-year. One of the most high-cost TV shows last year was WandaVision, a Marvel Cinematic Universe series that cost Disney approximately $200 million (which breaks down to around $25 million per episode).

As series budgets rise, the line between film and TV has started to blur. For instance, characters and narratives from WandaVision will have direct ties to the upcoming Doctor Strange sequel, which gives fans an extra incentive to watch the Disney+ series.

No Ceiling in Sight for the Film & TV Industry

Despite months of disruptions caused by COVID-19, the Film & TV industry showed resilience in 2020. But it’s only just the beginning—as audience demand continues to grow, and budgets keep rising, growth has become the new normal.

This graphic is brought to you by Purely Streamonomics, a monthly newsletter that provides key insights into the global Film & TV market.

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The History of U.S. Energy Independence

This infographic traces the history of U.S. energy independence, showing the events that have shaped oil demand and imports over 150 years.



history of U.S. energy independence

The History of U.S. Energy Independence

Energy independence has long been a part of America’s political history and foreign policy, especially since the 1970s.

Despite long being a leader in energy production, the U.S. has often still relied on oil imports to meet its growing needs. This “energy dependence” left the country and American consumers vulnerable to supply disruptions and oil price shocks.

The above infographic from Surge Battery Metals traces the history of U.S. energy independence, highlighting key events that shaped the country’s import reliance for oil. This is part one of three infographics in the Energy Independence Series.

How the U.S. Became Energy Dependent

Oil was first commercially drilled in the U.S. in 1859, when Colonel Edwin Drake developed an oil well in Titusville, Pennsylvania.

Twenty years later in 1880, the U.S. was responsible for 85% of global crude oil production and refining. But over the next century, the country became increasingly dependent on oil imports.

Here are some key events that affected America’s oil dependence and foreign policy during that time according to the Council on Foreign Relations:

  • 1908: Henry Ford invented the Model T, the world’s first mass-produced and affordable car.
  • 1914-1918: The U.S. began importing small quantities of oil from Mexico to meet the demands of World War I and domestic consumption.
  • 1942: In efforts to save gas and fuel for World War II, the Office of Defense Transportation implemented a national plan limiting driving speeds to 35 miles per hour.
  • 1943: President Roosevelt provided financial support to Saudi Arabia and declared Saudi oil critical to U.S. security.
  • 1950: With 40 million cars on the road, the U.S. became a net importer of oil bringing in around 500,000 barrels per day.
  • 1970: Twentieth century U.S. oil production peaked and President Nixon eased oil import quotas, allowing an additional 100,000 barrels per day in imports.

The U.S. economy’s increasing reliance on oil imports made it vulnerable to supply disruptions. For example, in 1973, in response to the U.S.’ support for Israel, Arab members of the OPEC imposed an embargo on oil exports to Western nations, creating the first “oil shock”. Oil prices nearly quadrupled, and American consumers felt the shock through long lineups at gas stations along with high inflation. Combined with rising unemployment rates and flattening wages, the increase in prices led to a period of stagflation.

Despite the energy crisis, U.S. oil production fell for decades, while the country met its increasing energy needs with oil from abroad.

The Rise and Fall of U.S. Oil Imports

Here’s how U.S. net imports of crude oil and petroleum products has evolved since 1950 in comparison with consumption and production. All figures are in millions of barrels per day (bpd).

YearConsumption (bpd)Production (bpd)Net imports (bpd)

Net oil imports quadrupled between 1960 and 1980, marking the two biggest decadal jumps. Given that production was falling while consumption was booming, it’s clear why the U.S. needed to rely on imports.

Imports peaked in 2005, with net imports accounting for a record 60% of domestic consumption. Both imports and consumption fell in the years that followed. In 2009, for the first time since 1970, U.S. oil production increased thanks to the shale boom. It ascended until 2019 to make the U.S. the world’s largest oil producer.

As of 2021, the U.S. was a net exporter of refined petroleum products and hydrocarbon liquids but remained a net importer of crude oil.

The New Era of Energy

Oil and fossil fuels have long played a central role in the global energy mix. The U.S.’ reliance on other countries for oil made it energy-dependent, exposing American gas consumers to geopolitical shocks and volatile oil prices.

Today, the global energy shift away from fossil fuels towards cleaner sources of generation offers a new opportunity to use lessons from the past. By securing the raw materials needed to enable the energy transition, the U.S. can build a clean energy future independent of foreign sources.

In the next part of the Energy Independence Series sponsored by Surge Battery Metals, we will explore the New Era of Energy and the role of electric vehicles and renewables in the ongoing energy transition.

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Ranked: Emissions per Capita of the Top 30 U.S. Investor-Owned Utilities

Roughly 25% of all GHG emissions come from electricity production. See how the top 30 IOUs rank by emissions per capita.



Emissions per Capita of the Top 30 U.S. Investor-Owned Utilities

Approximately 25% of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) come from electricity generation.

Subsequently, this means investor-owned utilities (IOUs) will have a crucial role to play around carbon reduction initiatives. This is particularly true for the top 30 IOUs, where almost 75% of utility customers get their electricity from.

This infographic from the National Public Utilities Council ranks the largest IOUs by emissions per capita. By accounting for the varying customer bases they serve, we get a more accurate look at their green energy practices. Here’s how they line up.

Per Capita Rankings

The emissions per capita rankings for the top 30 investor-owned utilities have large disparities from one another.

Totals range from a high of 25.8 tons of CO2 per customer annually to a low of 0.5 tons.

UtilityEmissions Per Capita (CO2 tons per year)Total Emissions (M)
OGE Energy21.518.2
AES Corporation19.849.9
Southern Company18.077.8
Alliant Energy14.414.1
DTE Energy14.229.0
Berkshire Hathaway Energy14.057.2
WEC Energy13.522.2
Duke Energy12.096.6
Xcel Energy11.943.3
Dominion Energy11.037.8
PNM Resources10.55.6
PPL Corporation10.428.7
American Electric Power9.250.9
Consumers Energy8.716.1
NRG Energy8.229.8
Florida Power and Light8.041.0
Portland General Electric7.66.9
Fortis Inc.6.112.6
Consolidated Edison1.66.3
Pacific Gas and Electric0.52.6
Next Era Energy Resources01.1

PNM Resources data is from 2019, all other data is as of 2020

Let’s start by looking at the higher scoring IOUs.


TransAlta emits 25.8 tons of CO2 emissions per customer, the largest of any utility on a per capita basis. Altogether, the company’s 630,000 customers emit 16.3 million metric tons. On a recent earnings call, its management discussed clear intent to phase out coal and grow their renewables mix by doubling their renewables fleet. And so far it appears they’ve been making good on their promise, having shut down the Canadian Highvale coal mine recently.


Vistra had the highest total emissions at 97 million tons of CO2 per year and is almost exclusively a coal and gas generator. However, the company announced plans for 60% reductions in CO2 emissions by 2030 and is striving to be carbon neutral by 2050. As the highest total emitter, this transition would make a noticeable impact on total utility emissions if successful.

Currently, based on their 4.3 million customers, Vistra sees per capita emissions of 22.4 tons a year. The utility is a key electricity provider for Texas, ad here’s how their electricity mix compares to that of the state as a whole:

Energy SourceVistraState of Texas

Despite their ambitious green energy pledges, for now only 1% of Vistra’s electricity comes from renewables compared to 24% for Texas, where wind energy is prospering.

Based on those scores, the average customer from some of the highest emitting utility groups emit about the same as a customer from each of the bottom seven, who clearly have greener energy practices. Let’s take a closer look at emissions for some of the bottom scoring entities.

Utilities With The Greenest Energy Practices

Groups with the lowest carbon emission scores are in many ways leaders on the path towards a greener future.


Exelon emits only 3.8 tons of CO2 emissions per capita annually and is one of the top clean power generators across the Americas. In the last decade they’ve reduced their GHG emissions by 18 million metric tons, and have recently teamed up with the state of Illinois through the Clean Energy Jobs Act. Through this, Exelon will receive $700 million in subsidies as it phases out coal and gas plants to meet 2030 and 2045 targets.

Consolidated Edison

Consolidated Edison serves nearly 4 million customers with a large chunk coming from New York state. Altogether, they emit 1.6 tons of CO2 emissions per capita from their electricity generation.

The utility group is making notable strides towards a sustainable future by expanding its renewable projects and testing higher capacity limits. In addition, they are often praised for their financial management and carry the title of dividend aristocrat, having increased their dividend for 47 years and counting. In fact, this is the longest out of any utility company in the S&P 500.

A Sustainable Tomorrow

Altogether, utilities will have a pivotal role to play in decarbonization efforts. This is particularly true for the top 30 U.S. IOUs, who serve millions of Americans.

Ultimately, this means a unique moment for utilities is emerging. As the transition toward cleaner energy continues and various groups push to achieve their goals, all eyes will be on utilities to deliver.

The National Public Utilities Council is the go-to resource to learn how utilities can lead in the path towards decarbonization.

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