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Disney+ ‘to lead’ doubling of western Europe SVOD base

Subscription video-on-demand numbers in western Europe are set to double over the next five years, with Disney+ contributing hugely to the boom, according to a report by Digital TV Research.

According to the Western Europe OTT TV and Video Forecast Report, SVOD gross subscriptions – meaning each subscription service taken up by households – in western Europe will double from 65.19 million at the end of 2018 to 131.2 million by 2024.

Disney+ is forecast to have signed up 19.175 million customers by 2024 from a standing start this year.

Market leader Netflix is expected to grow its base from 35 million at the end of last year to close to 55 million in five years’ time, while Amazon is foreceast to grow from 14.8 million to 24 million over the same period. Apple TV+, by contrast, is expected to sign up a modest 3.3 million by 2024, while ‘others’ including new services and offering from local players will account for 30 million subscriptions, up from 15.3 million in 2018.

According to Digital TV Research, SVOD homes will pay for an average of 1.71 SVOD subscriptions by 2024 – up from 1.42 in 2018.

About 43.4% of TV households are forecast to take at least one SVOD subscription by 2024, up from 26.3% in 2018. Penetration rates are expected to vary significantly between markets, reaching nearly two- thirds of TV households in Norway, but remaining at under 30% in Italy.

Gross SVOD subscriptions are expected to represent 74.2% of Western European TV households by 2024, double the 37.3% recorded at end-2018. Germany, Italy, France and Spain will all be below the regional average by 2024, but five countries will be above 100% of TV households.

Netflix will remain the largest pan-regional SVOD platform, representing 42% of the region’s total, down from 54% last year.

Simon Murray, principal analyst at Digital TV Research, said: “Disney+ will make a strong and immediate impact, given its extensive brand recognition and impressive content line-up. We forecast 19.18 million paying subscribers by 2024 – fast approaching Amazon Prime Video.”