Europeans prefer PC video
Research from analyst firm Parks Associates analysing broadband and pay-TV services, business models, and consumer preferences indicates that broadband penetration is above 70 per cent in several Western European countries, and up to 30 per cent of the broadband population in some countries prefer PCs over TVs for watching video, with a strong corresponding preference for free online video sources. In the United States, only 13 per cent of broadband households prefer the PC over the TV as a video platform, compared to nearly 30 per cent in Italy and 40 per cent in Spain.
“The growing online population in Western Europe creates a significant audience for premium pay-TV and digital media services, but building revenues continues to challenge providers because consumers are largely using free sources for video viewing,” said Patrice Samuels, research analyst, Parks Associates. “Operators should experiment with free on-demand programming and advertising-based offerings to promote their premium services and other products,” he recommended.
The Parks Associates report – Digital Lifestyles: Western Europe – shows on-demand services can attract new subscribers and increase customer satisfaction in Western European countries. For example, Parks Associates’ surveys find 44 per cent of French video service subscribers would switch to a provider that offers free on-demand services.
Highlights from Parks Associates’ European research:
- European broadband users watch over five hours of PC video per week.
- Germany has the largest fixed broadband market in Western Europe, with over 29 million subscribers. Despite economic challenges, broadband penetration in Spain is in line with the average for the European Union.
- Pay-TV penetration among French broadband households is approximately 81 per cent, and 58 per cent of UK broadband households have pay-TV subscriptions.
- In France, 18 per cent of current pay-TV subscribers have downgraded their service to a less expensive TV package within the last 12 months, and another 14 per cent are likely to downgrade. UK pay-TV subscribers are relatively satisfied with their service; only 8 per cent are likely to change to a new provider within the next 12 months.
- Almost 50 per cent of Spanish broadband households and 39 per cent of Italian broadband households have watched a full-length movie on the Internet in the past month.