At the end of 2007, a survey by the European Audiovisual Observatory and the French Government’s Media Development Department found 258 VoD services in operation in the 24 European countries covered, compared with 142 services at the end of December 2006.
This upsurge in the number of services is largely explained by the fact that television channels generally now have websites offering free catch-up TV, giving viewers access to certain programmes, notably episodes of series, for a period of several days after their transmission. As in 2006, France – with 32 services – remains the country with the highest level of VoD provision; it is followed by the Netherlands (with 30 services) and Germany (with 26 services). Together, these three countries account for almost a third of Europe’s VoD services.
74 per cent of the services surveyed are delivered via Internet, 26 per cent are available as part of IPTV packages and 10 per cent come with cable packages. As previously, only a minority of VoD services are delivered via satellite or on digital terrestrial television.