France, the driving force of the animation medium in European audio-visual content

These are exciting times for the European animation industry, as the number of appealing titles being produced internationally are at an increase in recent years. Co-production is commonplace in Europe, and French animation is at the center of this growth by producing an average of 322 hours of TV programs and 7 feature films each year, ranking third in the world just behind the United States and Japan.

The 25th edition of Le Rendez-Vous took place in Biarritz, France from 8th to 12th September. Le Rendez-Vous is a large annual event where you can access the latest and greatest of French audio-visual content and content providers. This year, the event presented 1,100+ programs, 65 content providers and 270 acquisition executives. The Centre national du cinéma et de l’image animée (CNC) and TV France International presented an annual study of French TV program exports to the international marketplace. We summarize the statistics below.

Animation in France

In 2018, 17 new TV animation series have been broadcasted on national channels and it peaked at about 15 hours of animation broadcasted on these national channels per day.

The growth of international sales for French animation

For France, animation was and still is the strongest medium among all of its TV programs. In 1999, animation content was 28.5% of the international sales of French TV programs. In 2018, the proportion of animation content in French TV program international sales grew to 39.8 % (69 million Euros). Annual international French animation sales has been around 70 million Euros during the last three years.

USA and China, two major markets

27.6 % of its sales involved global broadcasting rights and 72.5 % of the sales were made outside Western Europe. American global audio-visual contents distributors and streaming services, such as Disney channel, Cartoon Network, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, are contributing to the higher sales of global broadcasting rights. The United States is currently the leading market for French animation, as 20.2 million Euros in sales has been reached in 2017. Recently, Chinese-speaking regions, such as mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, are another growing market for French animation, having spent 4.9 million Euros for French animation acquisitions.


  • Centre national du cinéma et de l’image animée (CNC) (June 2019): Le marché de l’animation en 2018
  • TV France International, CNC (September 2019): 25 years of French television exports
  • TV France International, CNC (September 2019): Sales of French TV programs abroad tripled in past 25 years
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