One-Third of U.K. Homes Subscribe to an OTT Video Service: Parks

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Thanks to the number of free streaming video options in Europe, subscription rates for paid over-the-top services are low, but they're rising. According to researchers at Parks Associates, 30 percent of broadband-enabled homes in the U.K. and 17 percent in France subscribe to an OTT video service. That compares to 64 percent of broadband-enabled homes in the U.S.

When Parks adds in the number of people using free options, the amount of streaming rises significantly: 55 percent of broadband-enabled homes in the U.K. and 51 percent in France stream TV shows or movies. Again the number is higher in the U.S., at 70 percent.

The reason paid OTT rates are so much lower in Europe than in the U.S. is the number of free options available.

“In many parts of Europe, pay TV penetration is lower than the U.S., and European consumers have been reluctant to pay for video in the past due to so many free options such as the BBC iPlayer. But, as more pay options enter the market, with content unavailable anywhere else, they are slowly changing the culture of video viewing in Europe,” says Brett Sappington, director of research at Parks Associates.

Netflix, the leading subscription VOD service, is struggling in France, Parks notes, even thought it has partnerships with many of the country's pay TV providers. French retailer FNAC recently launched a transactional VOD service. 

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