Central Europe to gain 5 million SVOD subs in 2022 | Media Analysis | Business | News | Rapid TV News
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Driven by the arrival of HBO Max and Disney+ in the region, seemingly benefitting from a generally favourable uptake despite increasingly stronger competition and uncertain economic circumstances, 2022 is marking a significant milestone year for the Central Europe over-the-top (OTT) ecosystem says research from Dataxis.
Dataxis 2NOv 2022
The analyst predicts an estimated 5 million new paid subscriptions on VOD services will be activated during 2022 with, not surprisingly, the clear market leader being Netflix, which passed the 5 million subscribers bar in the region earlier in the year, and will likely achieve a 15% yearly growth rate by the end of 2022. The company announced in March that it will open an office in Poland, the biggest market of the region, to pursue its investments in local content.

The increased attention put by Netflix on localising its platform and its content proposition has proven successful in the last years, with Central Europe representing an estimated 6.4% of its subscriber base across EMEA markets at mid 2022. That is almost 3 points higher than two years ago.

HBO achieved second plane in the rankings with a strong leap in subscriptions expected after the rebranding of its streaming service into HBO Max. In the Western Balkans, where HBO has a dedicated entity and bundles its service with virtually all available TV packages, the platform has an even higher market share. The latest up-and-coming OTT player in the region was found to be Disney+, which is expected to become part of the leading top 3 platforms in Central Europe right after its launch in June 2021.

However, Dataxis, also stress the part played in the region by homegrown platforms like Voyo, which just announced it reached 400,000 subscribers in Czech and Slovakia alone, and Go3 in the Baltics, which passed the 300,000 subscribers bar at the end of 2021.

Looking at the industry on a country level, Poland was by far the leading market both in volume and in value. The region’s biggest market was found to be home to more than 20 active SVOD platforms. The most significant growth in volume was observed in Hungary and Slovakia this year. Hungary alone is expected to count 1.7 million subscriptions by the end of 2022, which makes it the second biggest SVOD market in the region, despite counting 3.2 million fewer households than its neighbour Romania. The potential of this market is further highlighted by the upcoming launch of the subscription-based service RTL+.

Yet Dataxis also cautioned that after what seemed to be a tireless growth in VOD consumption that swelled pretty much every service’s user base, some local market insights might be showing the first signs of a slowdown for a handful of services after this summer.

Further growth opportunities could be reached through partnerships with local telcos and content aggregators, added Dataxis senior analyst Ophélie Boucaud commenting on the study. “If this strategy is already well in place for players like HBO Max, or regional services Filmbox+ and Pickbox NOW, this is yet a segment to develop for others. Outside of Poland, Netflix is only available in bundles with two regional telcos: Vodafone and Orange,” she noted. “Meanwhile, Disney+ was only available in a packaged offer with Vodafone Greece at launch. With a growing penetration of high connectivity fixed broadband services and a larger adoption of 3P bundles in the region, bringing SVOD services on aggregators’ platforms could prove to be a requisite tactical move to reach more audiences beyond the D2C perspective.”