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3 Things to Know About OTT in Europe in 2022

Europe is expected to see massive OTT growth in 2022, according to a new report from S&P Global. In 2021, SVOD OTT revenue grew to $14.2 billion in Europe (vs. 1.8 billion in 2015) while revenue for multichannel TV has continued to plummet. This year the continent will see 12.3 million new OTT subscriptions and an 8% increase in year-over-year revenue. Further, experts predict that by the end of 2022, the number of streaming subscriptions in Europe will be higher than the number of multichannel subscriptions.

As this growth continues, here’s a few things OTT providers should know about how things are shaping up across Europe.

1. The number of OTT services available in Europe is blowing up in 2022.

Global OTT operators are continuing to prioritize expanding across Europe. HBO Max is adding 15 new countries in March alone, Paramount+ is accelerating its presence in Europe with the addition of France, among many others. At the same time, this means subscription fatigue is becoming a risk, as viewers require an increasing number of services to meet their content needs.

That’s why OTT aggregators such as Roku, Sky, and Amazon are becoming more important in the region, offering the multichannel model to viewers who want their favorite services in a more affordable subscription package. It also means that, despite overall OTT growth, individual providers could see high rates of churn down the line if viewers get frustrated.

2. Local content remains crucial.

Netflix and Amazon Prime Video have been the top OTTs in Europe for several years. According to S&P’s analysis, this can largely be attributed to their focus on content localization. This strategy is how the big players can outperform more local services making content relevant to their audiences and prevent churn.

The success of focusing on localized original content is clear, and even Disney is following suit, planning for 50+ European originals by 2024—including projects already commissioned for France, Italy, Germany, and the Netherlands.

3. AVOD is growing in Europe—but the jury is out.

A lot of U.S.-based AVOD players have expanded to Europe recently—Pluto TV, Roku, Peacock, IMDB—and more, such as Tubi, are expected to follow suit. But a recent survey shows they have yet to gain traction against incumbents like YouTube and popular free streaming options from broadcasters like BBC and ITV.

According to S&P, one survey from the UK showed that five services (BBC iPlayer, YouTube, ITV Hub, Channel Four’s All4 and Channel 5’s My5) are used by at least 30% of viewers—while the newer additions haven’t hit a 10% share. However, it’s still early days for these newer AVODs, and as overall viewership grows across Europe, it’s possible their audiences will grow as well.

2022 is going to be a massive year for the OTT industry in Europe. More services are bringing their offerings to new countries on the continent and more viewers are taking on streaming subscriptions—and even giving up their multichannel subscriptions. Yet, this also means competition among providers in the region is going to get more fierce. OTTs will need so much more than just good content to stand out. Creating a good experience for viewers is the best way to maintain engagement and prevent churn.

Penthera’s European clients have benefited from our technology that facilitates a seamless experience for viewers by eliminating startup delays, re-buffering, and other streaming frustrations. Check out our products page to see how we help OTTs stand out from the pack.

(Source: S&P Global)


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