OTT Use Expanding in Europe


DALLAS: OTT usage is picking up in Europe, particularly in the U.K. and France, but the penetration rate of subscription streaming services still lags well behind the U.S., according to new data from Parks Associates.

The OTT Video Market Tracker found that just 30 percent of broadband homes in the U.K. and 17 percent in France pay for subscription OTT service. This compares with 64 percent of American broadband homes. OTT viewing is up though—55 percent of British broadband households and 51 percent in France watch TV programming and movies online, compared to 70 percent in the U.S.

“OTT is definitely gaining traction across Europe,” said Brett Sappington, director of research at Parks Associates. “We are seeing new OTT video services spring up, but not as many as in North America. In many parts of Europe, pay-TV penetration is lower than the U.S., 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.”

He added, “In the U.S. and Canada, the quickly increasing volume of new options is driving high numbers of online viewing of TV and movies. Each service is bringing new experiences for consumers, and many are providing new content that is unavailable elsewhere. Consumers are trying and subscribing to more services. We saw a big increase in the number of households subscribing to multiple OTT video services in the U.S. market at the end of 2015.”