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  OTT, Free-to-air TV , SVoD

Public TV broadcasters holding strong in Western Europe

Within two years, revenues generated by Subscription Video on Demand (SVoD) services will have outstripped public TV funding in all regions outside Western Europe, with the inflection point already having been reached in North America, Sub Sahara Africa and Central and South America. Public TV revenue remains relatively static across all regions and Ampere expects this to continue over the next six years; by contrast, SVoD revenues have been enjoying exponential growth in most regions. Although growth in Western Europe has been more subdued, driven largely by the highly variable rate of SVoD uptake across the region. Engaged markets such as the UK, Germany and the Nordics have SVoD penetration ranging from 30%-70%, with this expected to surpass even pay TV by the end of 2018 in the UK and Denmark. In contrast, countries such as Greece and Portugal have SVoD penetration of only 6% and 9% respectively.

The strength of public broadcasting in Western Europe means it will remain far larger than SVoD throughout our six year forecast period. Western Europe has by far the largest public TV sector in terms of revenue, with public TV revenues accounting for around one third of the Western Europe TV economy, compared to just 3% for the rest of the world. Although Western Europe has some of the highest license fees globally, the long-standing relationship between the Western European public broadcasters and their viewers is a keystone of the public’s willingness to continue funding them. Additionally, a number of public broadcasters do not feature any form of advertising on their channels, increasing their reliance on public funding. Despite the strong position of public TV, its funding is under threat as a number of countries have held referenda to remove a mandatory TV/media license fee. Denmark, one of the most engaged SVoD markets recently voted to abolish the media fee, while Switzerland, a country with one of the highest license fees globally, voted to keep it.