Online TV viewing expanding rapidly in France

ARCEP reportThe proportion of internet users in France who view live or catch-up TV on the internet has increased by over half in the last two years, according to research compiled by telecom regulator ARCEP, while the proportion that has viewed TV shows or films either via streaming or download has increased significantly over the same period.

According to ARCEP’s and the Conseil Général de l’Economie’s (CGE) annual Digital Barometer, 44% of internet users, and 37% of the general population, have viewed live or catch-up TV over the web in the last 12 months, up from 37% and 22% respectively in 2013.

The proportion viewing TV content in this way rose to 44% among higher income groups, compared with 31% among lower earners. Some 45% of residents of Paris and the surrounding region viewed live or catch-up TV on the web, compared with only 32% of residents of towns of fewer than 2,000 inhabitants. Seventy per cent of 18-24 year-olds have viewed live or catch-up TV over the web in the last year, compared with 10% of those over 70.

Over the period from 2012-15 the proportion of the overall population that streamed or downloaded films, videos or TV shows jumped from 28% to 35%. This followed a five-year period where downloading movies over the web failed to grow or even declined slightly. Growth in consumption since then follows the rise of streaming services closely.

According to the study, 73% of 18-24 year-olds downloaded video content over the last year, compared with 52% of 25-39 year-olds.

More broadly, the proportion of French people with a tablet device has continued to grow strongly, with 35% now owning such a device, up from 29% year-on-year, while the number with a smartphone has grown from 46% to 58% over the same period. The proportion with a computer, smartphone and tablet at home has grown to 25% from 19%, while the proportion with only a computer has fallen from 31% to 22%. The proportion with neither a smartphone, tablet nor computer stands at 14%.

In line with the change in patterns of device ownership, growth in fixed internet access is negligible, rising from 82-83% over the year. The number with an ADSL connection has fallen from 91% to 85%, while the number with an ultra high-speed connection has risen from 6% to 10%, including 4% with FTTH access.

Some 54% of French people have fixed and mobile access to the internet, with only 29% having fixed internet only, and only 3% having mobile internet access only. Some 14% have no access to the internet.