Online video subscription services in Europe were worth €9.7 billion in 2020, up from just 12 million in 2010. There was an estimated total of 140 million subscriptions in Europe in 2020. There are over 200 different services available across Europe, led by Netflix and Amazon. That said, online video subscription revenues represent only 6% of the value of the European audiovisual market, well behind traditional television subscription, advertising and public funding. The main change is the considerable investment that the leading global online video players can make in programming.

Germany is the largest market with an estimated 33 million subscribers, closely followed by the United Kingdom with nearly 32 million, ahead of France with 15 million, Italy with 13 million and Spain with nearly 11 million.

Netflix is the market leader in every European territory apart from Germany and Austria, where it is second to Amazon. Between them, Netflix and Amazon account for 68% of online video subscriptions in Europe, with an estimated 54 million and 40 million subscriptions respectively.

European online video subscriptions 2010-2020. Source: European Audiovisual Observatory / Ampere Analysis

European online video subscription revenues 2010-2020. Source: European Audiovisual Observatory / Ampere Analysis

The number of online video subscriptions will overtake those for traditional television subscriptions in Europe in 2021. However, many households will have more than one online video subscription and not necessarily at the exclusion of a traditional television subscription. The total revenue of traditional television subscriptions is also a lot higher, at an estimated €34.2 billion in 2020, which is around the same that it has been for three years.

Nevertheless, online video subscriptions only represented about 6% of total audiovisual revenues of €115 billion in Europe in 2019. Subscription television revenues accounted for 30%, just ahead of television advertising, with public funding providing 23%.

Transactional online video services show a shift from rental to retail, which now represents half the value of transactional services, driven by higher revenue per transaction. Together, online rental and retail generated an estimated €1.9 billion in Europe in 2020. That is about 1% of the audiovisual market. Physical video sales account for around 2%.

Advertising supported online services still represent a fraction of advertising revenues for most commercial broadcasters. ITV is the most successful with ITV Hub, which produced revenues of €340 million in 2020, or 24% of its advertising revenue. Channel 4 follows, with €128 million representing 17% of advertising revenue.

Without the growth in online video subscription revenues, the European audiovisual market in 2020 would have remained flat. This reflects structural changes in the market, accelerated in 2020 by coronavirus pandemic and an increased focus of media players on direct-to-consumer services.

Trends in the VOD market in EU28 is published by the European Audiovisual Observatory and available from its web site.