European OTT video use on the up, still trails North America

Parks-Associates--Online-TV-Movie-ViewingOver-the-top (OTT) video usage in Western Europe continues to grow, but still trails North America – particularly for subscription video on-demand (SVOD) uptake – according to Parks Associates.

The research firm’s OTT Video Market Tracker report claims that 55% of UK broadband households and 51% of French internet homes watch TV programmes and movies online, compared to 70% in the US.

In terms of SVoD use, some 30% of broadband households in the UK and just 17% in France subscribe to an online video service, compared to 64% of US broadband homes, according to the research.

“OTT is definitely gaining traction across Europe. We are seeing new OTT video services spring up but not as many as in North America,” said Brett Sappington, director of research, Parks Associates.

“In many parts of Europe, pay TV penetration is lower than the US, and European consumers have been reluctant to pay for video in the past due to so many ‘free’ options such as the BBC iPlayer. But, as more pay options enter the market, with content unavailable anywhere else, they are slowly changing the culture of video viewing in Europe.”

The research said that an increasing volume of new over-the-top services is driving online viewing in the US and Canada, and that there was a “big increase” in the number of homes subscribing to multiple OTT video services in the US at the end of 2015.

The UK remains one of the top markets in Europe for OTT, fuelled by interest in the iPlayer and popular OTT video services from Netflix, Sky, and Amazon, according to Parks.