The number of subscribers to pay television in Europe has risen in recent years. Telco television continues to gain ground, while satellite is no longer growing and cable is flat. But there is no evidence of cord cutting in Europe yet, says the European Audiovisual Observatory.

Highlights of the latest Yearbook from the Strasbourg-based Observatory, part of the Council of Europe, show that the number of television subscribers rose from around 180 million to 200 million from 2013 to 2017, an increase of about 12%.

Most of that can be attributed to the rise in telco television subscribers, up from around 33 million to 50 million over that period, a rise of over 50%. Other platforms have remained relatively static.

European pay-television subscribers 2013-2017. Source: European Audiovisual Observatory / Ampere Analysis

The Observatory concludes that there is no evidence of cord cutting in Europe for the moment, although those headline numbers may conceal the dynamics of subscribers leaving and joining the pay television universe.

Notably, European companies account for only a minority of revenues among the top 50 audiovisual groups, with those from the United States accounting for 72% in 2017. Netflix ranked 15 in the top 50 by revenue, but total revenues across these 50 groups amounted to 475 billion euros.

Average daily television viewing has remained relatively stable at around three and a half hours a day, based on Eurodata TV research. The average of 3 hours 33 minutes in 2017 was down by four minutes on the previous year, but the same as five years previously.

Again, the average conceals national differences. Daily viewing time ranges from 1 hour 41 minutes in Iceland to 5 hours 46 minutes in Romania. Iceland also saw the sharpest decline in viewing, along with Denmark, Latvia, Norway and the United Kingdom.

The value of the market for physical video media continues to decline, falling 14% per year between 2013 and 2017, from just under 6.5 billion euros in 2013 to just over 3.5 billion euros in 2017.

European physical video revenues 2013-2017. Source: European Audiovisual Observatory / Ampere Analysis

The value of the DVD market fell significantly, from just over 5 billion euros in 2013 to just under 2.5 billion in 2017.

Not surprisingly, rental accounted for just 6% of the total value of the market in 2017, compared to 11% in 2013.

Subscription video on demand services increased in value at an average rate of 74% a year over the same period, accounting for 72% of all video on demand revenues in 2017, which amounted to 5.85 billion euros.

The Yearbook Online Service is available by subscription at the European Audiovisual Observatory web site.