Online second most popular way of watching TV in three European nations

Online streaming has become the second most popular way to watch TV in UK, Germany and Sweden.

According to an independent study conducted by Gracenote and nScreenMedia, pay TV is currently the most popular television source in the UK and Sweden (nearly two in three consumers in each market using it), while Germany’s most popular source is free-to-air TV (nearly eight in ten).

The three key markets combined account for 31% of the European Union’s total population according to Statista.

The research’s key finding is that online TV is now the second most popular source behind pay TV across Europe. Usage ranges from just under 40% in Germany to more than 50% in the UK and Sweden.

While 12 years ago most homes relied on a single-source for TV, today nearly half of viewers in all three of the countries studied are multi-source television households, the research points out.

“Consumer behavior relating to TV viewing is changing rapidly in Europe as it is around the world,” said Simon Adams, chief product officer at Gracenote.

“This new research provides the clearest, most timely snapshot of how viewers in the UK, Germany and Sweden get the movies and TV programs they are looking for and how they discover new content. By understanding viewer needs, behaviors and attitudes, Gracenote is uniquely positioned to help the industry develop new products and features that maximize TV viewership and engagement – critical business priorities in today’s hotly competitive landscape.”

“The new TV Universe study shows that online TV has become the second most popular source of TV entertainment in a remarkably short period of time,” added Colin Dixon, founder and chief analyst at nScreenMedia.

“Also telling is the fact that, though most online viewing takes place on the television, consumers don’t have the discovery tools they need to efficiently find something to watch there. Features such as voice and cross-service search are thinly used in each country. There is also plenty of room for improvement with content recommendations as a quarter or less think they accurately reflect their interests.”

The research was sponsored by metadata provider Gracenote, and was conducted from February to March 2019 across 1,500 adult TV viewers in the UK, Germany and Sweden.  

The full report is available for download at

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