There are apparently 2,563 on-demand audiovisual services established in the European Union. Of these, 932 are described as catch-up television or promotional web services for broadcasters, while 408 are broadcaster-branded channels on open platforms like YouTube or Dailymotion, and there are 385 services dealing exclusively with films. 45 services specialise in ‘adult’ material, which if anything seems like an underestimate.
The latest numbers, derived from the MAVISE database at the end of 2014, are published in a report on the development of the European market for on-demand audiovisual services by the European Audiovisual Observatory.
The United Kingdom leads the field, with 515 on-demand services, including 198 catch-up television or promotional web services, followed by France with over 412 and Germany with 274.
Our analysis of the MAVISE online database shows 45 catch-up television services based in the United Kingdom, ranging from All 4 from Channel 4, to Yesterday from UKTV.
There appear to be 114 catch-up television services registered by ATVOD, the Authority for Television On Demand, which regulates such services in the United Kingdom. This includes various versions aimed at particular territories or languages, including 20 variants of National Geographic Channel Videos.
While there is a vast range of services available in Europe, the report highlights that among 50 leading media groups the audiovisual revenues of those based in the United States rose significantly between 2009 and 2013 while it fell among those based in Europe.
Although traditional media groups are very active in online and on-demand audiovisual markets, the report suggests that the emergence of online groups based in the United States is one of the most notable trends. It estimates that the global audiovisual turnover of the Apple iTunes, Amazon, YouTube and Netflix businesses increased from $13.87 billion in 2009 to $39.06 billion in 2013.
A key concern for the European Commission is whether the increased availability of services delivered over the open internet will benefit global corporations at the expense of European media organisations.
The report provides a range of data in relation to on-demand audiovisual services in Europe, supplemented by summaries of statistics from research firms. Unfortunately some of the viewing data is redacted in the public version of the report for copyright reasons.
Nevertheless, the report provides a valuable overview of an incredibly complex and fragmented field, albeit in rather raw form with little synthesis.
Among other things, the report covers recent developments in the subscription video-on-demand market, the proportion and prominence of European works in the catalogues of services, the role of providers of video-on-demand services and distribution platforms in the financing of audiovisual production, and the problems of measuring fragmented audiovisual audiences.
The development of the European market for on-demand audiovisual services report is available for download from the Europa web site.