The Belgian TV and video market continues to show its strength, growing in value by 3 per cent in 2019 to end the year at more than €1.5 billion, according to an industry report from Futuresource Consulting. And as subscription services attract an ever-increasing proportion of consumer spend, Liberty Global-backed Belgian cable operator Telenet has announced a partnership with commercial broadcaster VTM to launch a new Flemish streaming service.
“Netflix dominates the SVoD landscape, with an increase of around 200,000 net subscribers added last year, for the third year running,” says Margherita Grosso, Research Analyst, Futuresource Consulting. “To make an impact, Telenet and VTM’s owner, DPG Media, are aiming to play on the local angle, combining their existing catalogue of Flemish dramas with local and international content, with a launch planned for Q3 2020. The launch of Apple TV+ late 2019 and Disney+ launching in summer will also provide much-needed competition, in turn helping to drive multiple SVoD subscriptions per household, as well as encouraging new households to subscribe for the first time. In response, Netflix will air its first Belgian original series, Into the Night, later this year. This upsurge of new SVoD services and ensuing choice will propel market growth rates beyond 25 per cent this year.”
Pay-TV still commands the lion’s share of the video market, accounting for almost three-quarters of spend. However, it won’t experience any growth throughout the forecast period out to 2023, despite Pay-TV providers evolving their offerings, providing a wider range of online services and blurring the lines with SVoD. Conversely, the momentum behind SVoD will see it capture almost 30 per cent of annual spend on total video subscriptions by 2023.
“The Belgian affinity with all manner of subscription services is so strong that subscriptions will account for around 90 per cent of total consumer spend on video before 2023, as the role of transactional video continues its downward spiral,” says Grosso. “SVoD is already 2.5 times larger than total transactional video and overall future market development will be driven by SVoD, propelling total consumer spend to €1.75 billion in 2023.”