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Where Europe’s subscribers are — and aren’t

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Many content and service operators have settled on the subscription model with which to charge online.

That model isn’t new; it’s been practised by cable TV services for years. But adoption is uneven, and identifying different markets’ existing proclivity toward subscribing is important for any globally-minded operators considering new product launches.

So this data showing Europeans’ varying receptiveness to subscription is interesting. This chart shows the proportion of Europeans who currently receive audio or visual content like movies, news, documentaries and music through subscription services…

TNS Opinion & Social for European Commission Eurobarometer

The data, which appears in TNS Opinion & Social’s Building the Digital Single Market – Cross Border Demand for Content Services survey for the European Commission, shows that Latvians, those in the UK and Maltese are most likely already to be subscribers, whilst very few Germans, Austrians and Greeks are.

Is this a threat or an opportunity for budding subscription services? High subscription proclivity like that in the UK may suggest high willingness to subscribe to new services. But it could also point to existing market dominance of strong subscription players like BSkyB — competitors that could be hard to break.

For services which eschew subscription and choose to charge one-off payments, what is the lay of the land? Related data shows Danes, Slovaks and those in the UK are most likely to already pay for audio-visual content via pay-per-view, whilst Greeks, Maltese and Bulgarians hardly ever do so…

TNS Opinion & Social for European Commission’s Eurobarometer

2 Responses to “Where Europe’s subscribers are — and aren’t”

  1. Greg Golebiewski

    It should be added that the use of pay services is largely limited by cost (48%) but also by the lack of programs of interest (28%). 31% or three in ten Europeans would be prepared to pay for content perceived better, for example from other countries. Among those, slightly more would prefer to pay per view than pay a subscription (17% vs. 14%).

    Also of interest should be the fact that those who are willing to pay are likely to be the younger respondents (aged 15-24 years and 25-39 year olds), those in higher social groups and those who use the Internet every day.

    How does the paywall strategy fits into this? It does not. Once again, the data shows that people prefer on-demand systems, and that such systems are the future of paid content.