CEE SVOD set to more than double

Central and eastern Europe is set to more than double its subscription video-on-demand base over the next five years, according to Digital TV Research.

According to the research outfit, the region will have 26.19 millionSVOD subscriptionsby 2024, up from 10.02 million recorded by end-2018. Russia will supply 8.77 million to the 2024 total, with Poland bringing in another 6.32 million. Together, they will account 58% of the region’s total.

Digital TV Research’s Eastern Europe OTT TV and Video Forecasts report estimates that Russia became the SVOD subscription market leader in 2018, overtaking Poland. However, Russian subscribers pay less for the services they sign up to, so it will take until 2023 for Russia to generate greater SVOD revenues than Poland.

Digital TV Research forecasts that Netflix will have eight million subscribers across 22 Eastern European countries by 2024, double its 2018 result and representing 30% of the regional total.

International players will grow despite not making much of an impact in Russia, where the local regulator has introduced a 20% foreign ownership equity limit on OTT platforms, according to Digital TV Research. SVOD providers can however do deals with local players, as HBO has done with Amediateka.

Poland will remain Netflix’s top country in the region, with nearly two million subscribers – or a quarter of its regional total – by 2024. Poland, Romania and Russia will account for half its subscriber base by 2024, according to the research outfit.

“The imminent launches of both Disney+ and Apple TV+ will further boost the sector. We forecast nearly three million subscribers for Disney+ by 2024. Apple TV+ will be more modest,” said Simon Murray, principal analyst at Digital TV Research.

“We believe that Netflix will thrive despite these rival launches. However, we have downgraded our Amazon Prime Video forecasts. There are no Amazon Prime countries in Eastern Europe at present, so all of its subscribers will be directly paying for the platform.”