Large U.S. businesses lead the European SVOD marketSince its expansion into the UK, Ireland, and Scandinavia in 2012, Netflix tops the European streaming market. The giant holds the highest market share among SVOD services in Europe. In Eastern Europe, for instance, nearly six million households subscribed to Netflix in 2021, making it the largest SVOD service in the region. By and by, other big U.S. entertainment and technology businesses have established themselves with their streaming platforms in the European SVOD market: Amazon with Prime Video, Apple with Apple TV+, and Walt Disney with Disney+, to only name a few.
Also, new streaming services that recently appeared in the U.S. are penetrating European markets. To give examples, Paramount Global’s (formerly ViacomCBS) streaming brand Paramount+, rebranded from CBS All Access, expanded to Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Finland in March 2020, and will be made available across Sky platforms in Europe in 2022. Another provider, Discovery+ owned by U.S. American multimedia conglomerate Warner Bros. Discovery replaced former Dplay in, amongst others, the Nordic countries, Italy, and Spain at the beginning of 2021.
Local playersHowever, streaming services from local enterprises are in no way inferior to international ones. For example, the existing offering of the most successful Swedish online video platform Viaplay has even been extended into other European countries, such as the Baltics and other Nordic regions. By 2023, the service of the Viaplay Group is planned to be available in 10 international markets. In the second quarter of 2022, Viaplay already reached over 5.5 million subscribers.
In 2019 and 2020, further local SVOD services launched in their countries. Streamz, a Flemish streaming provider from Telenet and DPG Media, is available in the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium since September 2020 and made up 11 percent of the total subscriber count in this region in 2021. In France, the new platform of France Télévisions, TF1, and M6 – Salto – is already used by around nine percent of consumers. And Britbox, which was first launched in the United States by the broadcasters BBC Studios and ITV plc and provides UK-originated content, was introduced in the United Kingdom in late 2019. According to a recent press release of ITV, the SVOD service reached 730,000 subscribers in 2021 in the UK and even surpassed the three-million-mark of subscriptions worldwide that year.
Given this level of competition, not all operators will survive, and only a handful of providers will be dominating the European SVOD market soon. It is a matter of (original and exclusive) content, high-quality user experiences, outstanding brands, and usage and analysis of data to attract subscribers and hold in the long run.