Broadband has transformed video viewing habits in Western Europe, where over 20 per cent of broadband households have watched a film or TV programme online in the past six months, according to international research firm Parks Associates, whose The Impact of Online Video in Europe , addresses these changes in viewing habits.
European consumers are adopting online viewing habits with some reluctance, however. The white paper reports that for all the countries surveyed, the UK, Germany, Spain, Italy, and France, over 80 per cent of broadband households prefer a more traditional option for viewing video, including going to the cinema or watching a DVD. Many consumers are watching video online only because of the availability of free content, both legitimate and illegitimate.
“It will be difficult for companies to sell video streams and downloads to consumers in Europe when there is this undercurrent of reluctance,” said John Barrett, director, research, Parks Associates. “Even if all piracy issues are resolved, the realities of consumer preferences could still undermine the service plans of content providers, if they don’t understand their customers.”