Digital Video Viewing Builds Slowly in Germany - eMarketer

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Digital Video Viewing Builds Slowly in Germany

Price prevents consumers from signing up for VOD

June 26, 2015

In Germany, traditional TV is still the center of most consumers’ video experience, according to Deloitte. Researchers quizzed 2,000 consumers in the country ages 14 to 75 in April 2015. For the first time, this Deloitte study was tailored to the German market, and took into account specific consumer behavior patterns as well as particular video offerings available in the country.

Percent of TV/Video Viewing Time Spent with Nontraditional TV* According to Internet Users in Germany, April 2015 (% of respondents)

The survey yielded no real surprises, but does provide a detailed snapshot of current TV and video consumption in the country. This landscape is still dominated overwhelmingly by the classic television scenario: consumers watching linear, broadcast TV on a TV set. Some 37% of those polled said at least 95% of their video consumption time was traditional viewing.

Admittedly, time spent with digital, nonlinear video is creeping up. Fully 15% of respondents said nonlinear video made up between 5% and 10% of their viewing time; the same percentage said digital video occupied between 10% and 25% of the total. And 9% were in the digital vanguard: At least half the time they devoted to TV and video content was spent on digital devices.

German households are already well equipped for digital viewing. When Deloitte asked consumers which devices they had at home, 94% said they had a PC or laptop, 78% had a smartphone and 50% had a tablet. More than 40% had a DVR, and a similar number had a connected TV, while 11% had a dongle. Moreover, most respondents weren’t planning to add to their existing setups. For example, just 8% said they intended to buy a connected TV or a tablet in future, and only 6% said they aimed to get a DVR.

Deloitte also investigated consumers’ engagement with video-on-demand (VOD), and their attitudes to such services. The main conclusion? Two-thirds of consumers didn’t watch video content on demand—so the market has a lot of room to grow. Of the 34% of respondents who did watch VOD, just under half (15%) said they were watching the same amount of VOD as they had the previous year, and 15% said they watched more.

The added costs associated with VOD services were the main reason that non-users in the survey hadn’t already signed up. As the report noted: “Despite the high intensity of advertising and monthly subscription tariffs of less than €10 ($13.27), 40% of respondents consider VOD too expensive.” Price was especially relevant for the youngest people in the sample. But there were other deterrents too. Some 18% of non-users said current VOD offerings were inadequate, and 12% said their internet connection was too slow to provide a good VOD experience.

Taken together, these results confirm that many of Germany’s consumers—especially those in younger cohorts—are shifting a significant proportion of their video viewing to digital devices. They’re also keeping a savvy eye on the potential of VOD, but aren’t persuaded that existing services are worth the money, given their shortcomings. This means big opportunities for VOD providers that can deliver a more substantial offering at current price points, or guarantee large volumes of premium content worth a higher tariff. Meanwhile, audiences look set to grow slowly but steadily as digital viewing habits become mainstream.

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