SVOD subscriptions in Western Europe expected to top 191M by 2025

svod subscriptions in western europe
Consumers' desire to build their own bundles hold SVOD saturation at bay

The Covid-19 pandemic is expected to drive SVOD subscriptions in Western Europe up by at least 35 million in 2020, a new study posits.

Digital TV Research said the pandemic has accelerated an already hot subscription video on-demand market and predicts the mid-point of the decade will see 191 million SVOD subscribers in Western Europe, with the biggest player remaining Netflix.

SVOD numbers stood at 90 million in 2019 for the region.

Netflix, which entered 2019 at some 43 million subscribers in the region, is forecast to hit 52 million this year and jump to more than 68 by 2025. Netflix’s share of the market is expected to decline from 48% in 2019 to 36% in 2025.

Netflix’s 59% increase in subscribers between 2019 and 2025 pales in comparison to the growth Disney+ is expected to see. DTVR expects Disney+ to reach more than 39 million subs by 2025, a 132% increase from 2020’s forecast and up a whopping 543% increase from int’s 2019 launch, when it closed the year with 712,000 subscribers in Western Europe.

Disney+, ‘others’, to see major growth

Disney+ is expected to be the second-largest service in the region by 2025 with a share exceeding 20%, passing Amazon, which will slip to third place with just under 19% of the subscription market.

Disney+ has seen impressive, rapid growth. It has brand recognition, great content and is priced right.

Nevertheless, DTVR principal analyst Simon Murray said he expects the growth to slow as other services deploy.

In fact, the second-biggest share of the market is expected to be made up of a conglomeration of services, from niche players to some larger entities like NBC Universal’ Peacock and CBS’s expanded All Access service (renamed Paramount+).

DTVR expects “other” to claim more than 21% of the market, a couple of percentage points less than it currently has.

The bottom line

Pundits like to talk about subscription saturation and make doom-and-gloom predictions about users losing interest in subscription services.

The reality is far different.

Market after market is forecast to see growing, not diminishing subscriptions as viewers increasingly turn to online video. And, while SVOD will continue to have the largest share of markets in developed markets, ad-supported services also are seeing strong uptake, especially in developing markets.

So, what’s the future hold?

The consumer has set the pace here, giving traction to a wide gamut of services that include broad entertainment offerings, like Netflix, an array of sports leagues that are taking advantage of latency that is as good as, and in many cases better than, broadcast, and a bevy of niche players.

Stay tuned and stay well.

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