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Linear TV and video streaming in the Benelux - statistics & facts

Are streaming services such as Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video replacing traditional television? An analysis for the Benelux region, or the countries of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, reveals mixed results. In terms of the average household penetration rate of SVOD, Dutch households were well ahead of their Belgian and Luxembourg counterparts in 2018. That year, over 40 percent of households in the Netherlands had a subscription to a video streaming service, whereas this figure was around 26 percent in both Belgium and Luxembourg. This large difference can also be observed when looking at an estimation of the number of Netflix subscribers in the three countries. The Netherlands was predicted to have around 3.8 million subscribers at the end of 2019 (in a population of around 17 million in the same year), whilst Belgium had around one million (nearly 11.5 million inhabitants) and Luxembourg having almost 67,000 (roughly 614,000 residents in 2019).

Playing for time

Not only were there little similarities in the penetration of Netflix and other video on-demand services, the Benelux countries also approached linear TV differently from each other. French Belgians, for example, spend over three hours each day watching television in 2019, whereas their Dutch-language counterparts spend around 20 minutes less (164 minutes). In the Netherlands, however, the daily TV viewing time stabilized at around 2.5 hours or 156 minutes in both 2018 and 2019. While no 2019 data exists for Luxembourg, in 2017, viewers already spent less time watching television than in the other two countries. That year, linear television consumption in the Grand Duchy ranked among the lowest in Europe at around 148 minutes every day.

Home and abroad

The availability of domestic as well as certain foreign services seems to have a big influence on Benelux offline and online television consumption. In Dutch-speaking Belgium, for example, the channels and apps from domestic public broadcaster VRT and commercial television channel VTM reach high audience market shares. This is reflected in Belgium's most popular online video apps, with the Flemish VTM GO app having a user rate that is close to that of Netflix. This is slightly different in the Netherlands, however, as shown by the release of Disney+ in September 2019. Disney's online streaming service was launched as a world-exclusive, even before its release in the United States and Canada. In the first week (September 13 to September 20, 2019), downloads of the Disney+ app in the Netherlands nearly reached 200,000. Foreign services, however, are the most important for Luxembourg. The Grand Duchy's most popular television channels all stem from France or Germany. Interestingly, the relatively small country is home to one of the largest media companies in the Netherlands and Germany: the RTL Group.

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Linear TV and video streaming in Benelux

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