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New Service Launches Help Sustain Western Europe's OTT Video High Growth Rates

Highlights

In the next couple of years, we expect to see a number of new streaming services launching in Western Europe, mainly due to collaborations between broadcasters and global media groups cutting out multichannel operators to go direct-to-consumer.

In Western Europe, a number of smaller services have been playing an increasingly important part in the overall growth of the streaming sector.

Even though Netflix Inc. and Amazon.com Inc.'s Prime Video are the top two services when it comes to subscribers and revenues in Western Europe, a number of smaller services have been playing an increasingly important part in the overall growth of the streaming sector.

In the next couple of years, we expect to see a number of new streaming services launching in Western Europe, mainly due to collaborations between broadcasters and global media groups cutting out multichannel operators to go direct-to-consumer. Also, smaller media firms acquiring premium sports rights and broadcasting events live over the internet will aid growth.

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Discovery Inc.'s Dplay launched in February 2019 in a number of markets including the Nordics, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands. It follows a dual revenue model, offering subscriptions for €3.99 a month as well as free access with advertising. Registered users get livestreaming and on-demand access to a number of Discovery's most popular TV networks.

After launching localized versions in the Nordics and in Spain, AT&T Inc.'s HBO made a Portuguese version available in February 2019. Similar to HBO Nordic and HBO España, HBO Portugal is a subscription-based service that offers access to a large catalog of content including HBO's originals such as "Game of Thrones." It is priced competitively at €4.99 a month.

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Comcast Corp.'s Sky PLC launched virtual multichannel service Sky X in Austria in March 2019. The service is a full-scale multichannel offering but uses over-the-top technology. Subscribers get access to both livestreaming channels and on-demand content. Prices start at €19.99 for the basic package.

Pluto TV debuted in October 2018 in the United Kingdom and in December 2018 in Germany and Austria. In 2019, Viacom Inc. completed the acquisition of the ad-supported video-on-demand OTT service for $340 million. Pluto TV Europe GmbH offers over 100 channels as well as a video-on-demand library that consists of movies. Until the acquisition, Viacom's sole focus was licensing content to streaming providers and cable operators. The group's underlying strategy behind this acquisition relies on the fact that Pluto TV is a recognized service in the USA and can serve as the backbone of the group's future streaming operations. Similar to other media/tech groups such as Walt Disney Co., Comcast, Apple Inc. and AT&T's WarnerMedia, which are planning to launch subscription video on demand services, Viacom will eventually add a subscription paywall to Pluto TV in order to capitalize on its users that do not subscribe to a multichannel provider.

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