In Germany, subscribers are warming to pay-TV, VOD services

German pay-TV revenues reached €2.05 billion in 2013, an all-time record for pay-TV and VOD revenues, a new report says.

Verband Privater Rundfunk und Telemedien reported that the outlook if for another banner year in 2014 with revenues reaching €2.3 billion, an increase of just more than 12% Y/Y. In 2012, German pay-TV revenues reached €1.89 billion.

VPRT said German operators saw subscriber numbers grow to 6.4 million by the end of 2013, 50% growth over a five-year period.

And, it said, pay-TV usage in the first five months of this year has increased by nearly 11%.

The German operator market is a “dynamic and fast-growing” one, VPRT said, forecasting double-digit sales and usage growth.

 According to VPRT the sector is drawing increased viewer interest because it’s offering diverse content options in a linear or non-linear basis, at home or on the go on mobile devices. 

Service providers also have expanded their channels and OTT services, adding Snap by Sky, Horizon, Select Video, max cathedrals, RTL now, and others.

“In Germany and Austria, the TV landscape is changing rapidly – largely due to the programming and exhibition innovations of the local pay-TV provider,” said Marcus Ammon, SVP at Sky Germany.

The market is at an interesting crossroads; it’s both maturing as service provider penetration grows and new programming packages are added to appeal to niche markets, and experiencing a parallel boom in delivery by newer technologies.

This week, for example, A&E Networks said it would deploy on pay-TV services across Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal and Portuguese-speaking Africa, reaching more than 10 million new households.

The country has also become the fourth-largest IPTV market in the world with more than 2.7 million subscribers… and growing.

In March, Chromecast arrived in Germany (as well as the Nordics, Spain and United Kingdom), adding another digital streaming device to the mix there.

And, of course, Netflix in May said it would be deploying in Germany later this year, part of a multi-prong, multi-nation (France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Austria and Switzerland).

As noted above, service providers in Germany haven’t been sitting on their hands. But they may have their hands full with American SVOD players like Netflix, Amazon and dark-horse VOD play Vudu at the starting line.

Stay tuned!

For more, see this release.

Stay tuned.

Jim O’Neill is Editor of Videomind and Principal Analyst at Brightcove. You can follow him on Twitter @JimONeillMedia and on LinkedIn