Euro multiscreen services flourish as 145M people regularly watch online video

Joseph O'Halloran | 25-10-2012

In keeping with recent trends, Western European online video and multiscreen services are on a roll, according to new research from Parks Associates.

The analyst predicts that the number of consumers in Western Europe who regularly watch online video will reach 145 million this year and the number of pay-TV operators offering multiscreen TV services will increase from approximately 50 in 2012 to 90 by 2016.

Investigating the drivers to this growth, Parks points to companies such as HBO Nordic who are launching new over the top (OTT) services. The company also makes the logical bridge that he rising popularity of OTT should raise fears that consumers will skip subscriptions and bypass pay-TV offerings.

Yet in an attempt to look to pointers from elsewhere as to the prospects for pay-TV, Parks noted that 7% of U.S. pay-TV subscribers recently returned to pay-TV service after having embarked on such cord-cutting.

"Rapid growth of connected devices in the home, concerns over cord-cutting, moves to adopt multiscreen by competitors, and the emergence of TV Everywhere services in North America initially drove implementation of multiscreen services in Europe," said Brett Sappington, director, research, Parks Associates. "These services allow pay-TV providers to compete with terrestrial broadcasters for online video viewers and potentially to drive subscribers to premium services. The cord-cutting phenomenon was not as apparent in Europe as it was in North America but only because pay-TV providers were already grappling with the challenge of moving subscribers to premium service tiers."