This year’s virtual-first edition of Le Rendez-Vous Biarritz, a major market for French tv shows, is currently underway. As part of the event, the CNC (France’s national film board) and trade association TV France International have published their annual report on French audiovisual exports, covering 2019. The document contains some interesting data concerning the country’s animation industry.
Here are the main takeaways:
- Last year, exports of French animation reached a record high: €77.4 (US$91.3) million. This figure is an all-time high, and marks a 12.1% increase on the previous year.
- Animation was once again the leading category of audiovisual export, as it has been every year of the last decade. In 2019, it represented 40% of all sales. The second-largest category was fiction, with €46.4 million.
- While the United States is only the third-largest buyer of French content (after Germany and Belgium), it has been the top international market for French animation since 2017, accounting for €12.0 million in sales last year. Exports of animated tv shows to the U.S. have multiplied by 4.5 over the last decade.
- China has been the third-largest overseas market for French animation since 2018, accounting for €6.3 million of sales last year. The demand is driven mostly by its streaming services like Tencent Video, Iqiyi, and Youku.
- The report cites a number of homegrown kids’ series as animation success stories: Millimages’ Molang, Go-N Productions’ Simon, Zagtoon’s and Method Animation’s Miraculous Ladybug, and PJ Masks by Entertainment One, Frog Box, and TeamTO (image at top).
- Across all categories, the sales of worldwide rights have tripled in five years. In general, the proportion of sales to territories outside Western Europe is steadily rising. The growth of international streaming services is behind these trends.
Of course, all these numbers describe a pre-pandemic age. Dominique Boutonnat, president of the CNC, said, “Even though 2019 was a good year for exports of our productions, the pandemic hit the whole industry very hard. We have taken exceptional emergency measures to help the sector and support our sales companies. The time has now come to get things started again, and exports and international activity are essential elements of this. Our objective is to strengthen the place of French works in all markets and on all platforms.”