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European subscription video-on-demand subscribers to reach 50 million by 2020

29 June 2016
European subscription video-on-demand subscribers to reach 50 million by 2020

New research from the EBU’s Media Intelligence Service shows that subscription video-on-demand (SVoD) subscribers in Europe grew 56% in just one year between 2014 and 2015, and are expected to reach 50 million homes by 2020.

The “Market Insights: SVoD in Europe” report shows that the biggest uptake is in the UK, Netherlands, Ireland and across the Nordic region. Currently, nearly 11% of all European households have a SVoD subscription. This number is anticipated to double by 2020 but is unlikely to reach levels seen in the USA, which remains the driver of global SVoD consumption.

The report highlights that competition in the SVoD market is also increasing rapidly. Netflix is the current undisputed leader with a 52% share of the market in the European Union, however Amazon is mounting a strong challenge. There are now also many other European groups entering the market including Vivendi (CanalPlay), Sky Plc (Now Tv) and ProSiebenSat.1 (Maxdome).The impact of the growth in the SVoD market on overall audiovisual consumption is still quite modest. For example in the UK SVoD viewing represents just 4% of total daily viewing or 11 minutes on average a day. In the Czech Republic it’s only 1%.

MIS’ research shows that free catch-up services, such as the BBC iPlayer and RAI Replay, remain the preferred way to access on demand content. 97% of EBU Members have a free catch-up video service.

Despite  regulatory and financial constraints, several EBU Members are already embracing SVoD, either launching their own services or distributing their content on third-party platforms. For example, NPO (Netherlands) operates a joint initiative with commercial broadcasters RTL and SBS, and RTÉ (Ireland) last year launched RTÉ Player International to make Irish PSM content available to viewers abroad.

The report offers many more insights into the main SVoD providers and their catalogues, as well as consumption patterns and challenges for PSM and the media sector as a whole.

Members can download the full report here.

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Florence Hartmann

Manager of Media Intelligence Service

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