The European Audiovisual Observatory and the French Government's Media Development Department (DDM) have published the results of a new survey of VoD services in Europe, carried out by NPA Conseil.
Upsurge in number of services
At the end of 2007, the survey found 258 VoD services in operation in the 24 European countries covered, compared with 142 services at the end of December 2006.
This upsurge in the number of services is largely explained by the fact that television channels generally now have websites offering free catch-up TV, giving viewers access to certain programmes, notably episodes of series, for a period of several days after their transmission. As in 2006, France - with 32 services - remains the country with the highest level of VoD provision; it is followed by the Netherlands (with 30 services) and Germany (with 26 services). Together, these three countries account for almost a third of Europe's VoD services.
Number of VoD services in the 24 European countries surveyed, by type of platform (December 2007)
74% of the services surveyed are delivered via Internet, 26% are available as part of IPTV packages and 10% come with cable packages. As previously, only a minority of VoD services are delivered via satellite or on digital terrestrial television.
The marked increase in the number of VoD services on Internet reflects the expansion of catch-up TV provision by broadcasters over the last two years - most catch-up services being offered via Internet. Throughout Europe, 62 catch-up TV services are delivered on Internet, compared with 11 services on IPTV, 8 on cable, 2 via satellite and 1 on DTT. Initially, almost all catch-up TV was offered on Internet, but cable and DSL operators have now begun to include it on their networks.
The survey also reflects the latest developments in strategy among the various players involved in VoD provision (including cable and IPTV network operators, television channels, programme makers and equipment manufacturers).
At the DDM: Laure Kaltenbach (email@example.com)
At the European Audiovisual Observatory: Alison Hindhaugh (firstname.lastname@example.org)