European Streaming Market Tops $14 Billion, Netflix, Amazon Dominate


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Revenue for streaming services on the continent kept growing last year, but global companies Netflix and Amazon are reaping most of the benefits.

European consumers have gone all-in on streaming, helping to drive massive growth in video-on-demand services, which last year booked revenues of $14 billion (€11.6 billion) across 28 European countries. That compares to just $468 million (€388.8 million) a decade ago, according to a new report released Tuesday by media think tank the European Audiovisual Observatory (EAO).

The bulk of the growth came from subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) services, which saw revenues skyrocket from $14.6 million (€12.1 million) in 2010 to $11.7 billion (€9.7 billion) last year. Last year saw a further surge in the SVOD business, with the launch in Europe of new streaming players, including Disney+, French group Salto, and Britbox, the SVOD joint venture of UK networks the BBC and ITV. Coronavirus stay-at-home and lockdown measures in much of Europe also helped drive consumers to streamers.

Some 140.7 million European consumers now subscribe to at least one SVOD service, according to figures from U.K.-based group Ampere Analysis, up from 103.2 million in 2019 and 73.6 million in 2018.

But the EAO report shows that global frontrunners Netflix and Amazon are reaping most of the benefit of this booming market. The EAO estimates Netflix earned $6.4 billion (€5.34 billion) from its 54.4 million subscribers across 28 European countries last year, accounting for a full 55 percent of the overall European SVOD market. Amazon Prime Video, with 29 million European subscribers and $1.1 billion (€910 million) in revenues, took a 19 percent share.

Far behind those top two are a cluster of global SVOD companies including Disney+, with an estimated 10 million European subscribers, $440 million (€364.9 million) in revenues, and a 4 percent market share; sports streamer Dazn (4 million subscribers, $453 million in revenues); HBO (1.6 million European subscribers, $200 million in revenues in 2020); and Now TV, the European streaming service controlled by Comcast-owned Sky, which had 1.9 million European SVOD consumers and booked some $375 million in revenue last year, accounting for 1 percent of the European market.

AppleTV+, with 12.2 million European subscribers, is Europe's third-largest SVOD platform but it does not break out revenues separately for its streaming business.

Local SVOD players have also made a significant impact on a regional level. Scandinavian platform Viaplay was the number two service in Denmark, Sweden, and Finland in 2020, behind Netflix but ahead of Amazon Prime, EAO found. Gruppo TIM's TIM Vision service was the number three SVOD in Italy, RTL's Videoland the number two in the Netherlands.

Overall, video-on-demand services — including SVOD, rental and sell-through VOD (called transactional VOD or TVOD), and advertising-supported VOD (AVOD) — accounted for 7 percent of Europe's overall audiovisual market, which was $137 billion (€114 billion) in 2019, the last year for which data is available. European gross box office revenues made up 6 percent of that total, but revenues from traditional pay TV (30 percent), commercial television (27 percent), and publicly-funded broadcasting (23 percent) easily dwarfed the European streaming market.