In 2015, total spending on SVOD in Western Europe surpassed €2 billion. By the end of 2016, this figure is expected to reach €3 billion, according to a new report released by IHS Markit. So why is SVOD growing so quickly in Western Europe? And which countries are primarily responsible this growth?
One of the biggest drivers of Western European SVOD growth is the arrival of multi-territory international players. These companies – such as Netflix, Hulu, and NowTV – have changed the game in a very short period of time, leading to the current market boom.
The UK currently spends more on SVOD services than any other Western European country, according to the report. This makes sense since we share a common language with many of the biggest SVOD companies, which makes unrolling services and broadcasting existing shows much easier. And the UK’s love for SVOD is set to continue, with British consumers expected to spend over €1 billion on SVOD by the end of 2017 – and to continue to account for a 35 percent share of the total SVOD market until at least 2020.
However, SVOD is growing elsewhere too. In Spain and Italy, IHS Markit predicts that 2016 (the first full year of operations for Netflix in both countries) will far and away surpass 2015 in terms of revenue. In fact, spending in Spain is forecast to increase 124 percent (reaching €59.9 million) and 112 percent in Italy (reaching €94.7 million). Together, the countries are expected to account for 11 percent of total SVOD spending in Western Europe by 2020.
Additionally, the Nordics and Benelux are thought to be primed for legitimate SVOD consumption. According to the report, both regions have a strong digital video market (supported by strong broadband infrastructure) which puts SVOD companies in a very good position to enter and dominate the market. The Norwegians alone are predicted to spend €239.6 million on SVOD by the end of 2016 (€318.3 million by 2020), whilst Belgium and the Netherlands will account for 10 percent of total SVOD spending by 2016. Considering the relatively small populations of these countries, this represents significant penetration.
Still, though it’s clear that SVOD is growing in Western Europe, IHS Markit warns that this growth will slow down between 2016-2020; as existing services reach saturation in key markets, year-on-year spending will reduce. Even so, SVOD is very soon set to become the largest platform in terms of home video in Western Europe. By 2018, IHS Technology predicts that SVOD will account for 49 percent – €4.2 billion – of home video spending. By 2020, this will reach 58 percent – €5.8 billion.
SVOD has already revolutionised the American entertainment market. Now it has its sights set on Europe, and it’s clear that the industry is already making significant progress. If all goes to plan, it won’t be long before Netflix is commissioning original shows in Spanish, Italian, and Norwegian.