More and more Germans taking pay TV and VOD subscriptions

Tuesday, July 21st, 2020 
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More and more Germans using pay-TV and paid-video-on-demand offerings

  • 18.3 mill. pay-TV viewers and more than 13 mill. SVoD consumers in Germany
  • In 2019, pay-TV & paid-video-on-demand revenues rose to 3.9 billion euros in Germany and to 4.4 billion euros across the German-speaking area
  • Corona crisis poses a particular challenge for providers, with TV productions having to secure against corona-related cancellation risks

The German landscape for pay-TV and paid-video-on-demand programmes is more diversified than ever before and the German population´s demand for high-quality TV and video content continues to rise – even during the corona crisis. Measures to curb the pandemic pose a particular challenge for providers, but are also giving rise to new creativity. This picture of the current market situation was outlined by high-profile industry representatives at a press conference held today by VAUNET – German Media Association, which represents the industry.

The positive market trend is also documented by the Association in its updated publication “Pay TV in Germany 2019/2020”. According to this, the number of pay-TV subscribers rose to 8 million during last year (2018: 7.8 million), while pay-TV programmes licensed by the AGF (Television Research Group) achieved an average reach of 16.4 million pay-TV viewers per month in 2019, representing on average 400,000 more than in 2018. During the first half of 2020, the average number of pay-TV viewers already amounted to 17.1 million, reaching as many as 18.3 million in March 2020. SVoD consumers numbered 13.4 million during the fourth quarter of 2019 (Q4 2018: 6.9 mill.). Revenues from pay TV and paid video-on-demand increased to 4.5 billion euros across the entire German-speaking area during 2019 (2018: 4 bn euros). In Germany, total revenues amounted to around 3.9 billion euros in 2019 (2018: approx. 3.5 bn euros), including pay TV with a sales volume of some 2.4 billion euros (2018: 2.3 bn euros), followed by subscription video-on-demand (SVoD) with approx. 1.2 billion euros (2018: 1.1 bn euros). In view of the corona crisis, ongoing performance continues to be influenced by many incalculable factors so that as yet, the Association is not providing any revenue forecasts for the current year.

Frank Giersberg, Managing Director of VAUNET: “The demand for high-quality TV and video content among the German population is enormous and has registered a further significant rise during the corona phase. But pay-TV and VOD providers are also having to contend with the consequences of the economic shutdown. Restarting scheduled productions represents a particular challenge in view of the corona-related cancellation risks. By also setting up a default fund for TV productions, politicians could help make a difference in this respect.”

Katharina Behrends, Managing Director NBC Universal Global Networks Deutschland GmbH and Chairwoman of the Pay TV Work Group at VAUNET: “Over 100 pay-TV programmes offer German audiences a unique programme experience. Pay-TV channels are investing to an increasing extent in content made available in both linear and non-linear mode, as well as in exclusive in-house productions – also using Germany as a production location – and they aim to continue doing this in spite of the corona-related restrictions and risks. For interest on the part of viewers is huge and we believe there is additional growth potential in the marketplace. As a result of our exclusive TV premieres, creative partnerships and strong initiatives, we at NBC Universal have been able to maintain our fiction-related market lead in the pay-TV sector during the first half of 2020 based on our portfolio made up of 13th Street, SYFY, Universal TV and E! Entertainment, whereby 13th Street is the most successful pay-TV entertainment channel in the marketplace.”

Elke Walthelm, Executive Vice President Content, Sky Deutschland: “Thanks to our major programming initiative, we are very well positioned for the future: Following our successful renewal of the Bundesliga and the acquisition of exclusive Formula 1 rights, Sky is and will remain the number one for all sports fans. At the same time, we are significantly expanding our film and entertainment offering even further by doubling the number of our local Sky originals, launching four additional entertainment channel brands and continuing to offer the best range of films, which includes the latest blockbusters shortly after their release date. We also provide our customers with full flexibility to stream the content via our enhanced OTT offering, Sky Ticket, or enjoy it in linear mode via Sky Q or on demand. With our all-in-one platform Sky Q, we make access to other content, provided for instance by Netflix and soon Disney+ too, easy and convenient for our customers.”

Nicole Agudo Berbel, Chief Executive and Chief Distribution Officer SevenOne Entertainment Group: “Especially in the current situation, the force of TV as a medium has become apparent. We have noticed this by way of the strong increase in TV usage and the success of our digital offerings over the past few months. This applies to both the Group´s linear free-TV and pay-TV channels and to our on-demand sector. For attractive content functions on all platforms, as shown by our successful formats such as “The Masked Singer” and “Germany’s next Topmodel”. With its wide range of programmes, our streaming offering Joyn has become very well established in the marketplace only one year after its launch and has been nominated for the German Television Award, based for instance on the Joyn PLUS+ dramedy “MaPa”. The core element of our corporate strategy is to provide easy access to our content, preferably on all relevant platforms and to all our target groups – from our own offering Joyn to platforms operated by our partners.”

Henning Tewes, COO Programme Affairs & Multichannel, RTL Media Group, Co-Managing Director TVNOW: “With TVNOW, we aim to be the “mainstreamer” for our users and the most attractive streaming home for Germany´s greatest talents. The corona crisis has also presented enormous challenges for us along this path. Yet at the same tine, it has promoted market demand and our growth, given rise to new creativity and, for the first time, brought together all broadcasters and producers in the form of round-table discussions. As a result, we have, due to our wide-ranging and varied information and entertainment offerings, been able to celebrate much success and many records during this period across all channels belonging to the RTL Media Group, particularly in the case of TVNOW. And today, we can look positively to the future since we have a jam-packed content pipeline in both the streaming and broadcasting segments, which in our case operate hand in hand. Such interaction also makes it possible to offer our TVNOW users considerably more attractive, high-class content during the new season, thanks for instance to our fiction initiative, our new family and kids segment, exclusive UEFA Europa League and UEFA Europa Conference League games, as well as a new late-night show produced by Stefan Raab.”

Tim Werner, Chief Executive Officer at Mainstream Media: “During this year´s crisis, viewers´ need for escapism in the form of light-hearted content was of course particularly marked and we are able to serve this very well with the high-value local themes offered by our Heimatkanal, GoldStar TV and Romance TV channels. Our flexibility and affinity to the platforms, with which we co-operate closely in all areas, is a major plus for us. Especially during the corona period, this has led to improved performance on our part and a very good standing among viewers, which is pleasing for both the platforms and our advertising partners.”

Links: VAUNET