Western Europe is forecast to have 197 million SVoD subscriptions by 2025, doubling from 88 million at end-2019, according to the Western Europe OTT TV & Video Forecasts report from analyst firm Digital TV Research. About 45 million subscribers will be added in 2020 alone, with the lockdown providing a major boost.
Netflix will remain the largest pan-regional SVoD platform, with 67.7 million paying subscribers expected by 2025. Netflix will add 24 million subs from 2019.
Disney+ has made a strong and immediate impact, given its brand recognition, low price and impressive content line-up. Disney+ will launch in most Western European countries by mid-2020. Disney+ is forecast to have 57.54 million paying subscribers in Western Europe by 2025.
“The Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have had two major effects on Western European OTT: a surge in SVoD subscriptions and a loss in advertiser confidence, which will result in lower AVoD growth for 2020,” advises Simon Murray, Principal Analyst at Digital TV Research.
“Netflix reported impressive first quarter results and the newly-launched Disney+ has enjoyed great success,” he adds. “Crucial for the SVoD platforms will be retaining subscribers after the lockdown is lifted – and to attract new ones.”
“The danger is that subscribers will watch so much of one platform’s library during lockdown that they will unsubscribe if they feel that there is little left for them to watch,” he warns. “This will affect Disney+ less as its younger audience will watch the same content multiple times. Older audiences to the other platforms always want new content, which may be difficult to achieve especially given the production suspension during lockdown.”