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Conventional wisdom—and studies—suggests that there’s a cord-cutting movement afoot in regards to TV. And while this might be true in a broad sense, Western Europe is set to see solid growth in pay TV subscriptions, as well as household penetration.
An April 2016 report by Digital TV Research Ltd. found that there were 97.4 million pay TV subscriptions in Western Europe in 2015, a figure set to rise to 104.3 million in 2021—a change of 7.0%. And while 56.8% of households in Western Europe currently have a pay TV subscription, that number will hit nearly 60% in 2021, a growth rate of 4.8%.
Other reports find the current number of subscribers to be a bit higher. SNL Kagan, for example, pegs the 2015 figure at 109.9 million—higher than Digital TV Research’ projected 2021 figure—at a penetration rate of 62.4%.
SNL Kagan also projects 118.9 million subscribers in 2024, and a penetration rate of 64.5%. Across Western Europe, SNL Kagan estimates that Sky provides 9.6 million pay TV subscriptions, the highest of any single broadcaster. Kabel Deutschland is also popular, at 7.8 million subscriptions.
But pay TV subscription growth isn’t just good news for providers. More eyes mean more opportunities for advertising. In the UK, for example, eMarketer estimates that advertisers spent $6.2 billion on TV advertising in 2015. That number is due to climb to $6.4 billion this year and, in 2020, $6.6 billion. Modest growth in spending is also projected in Germany and France.
There&rsuqo;s no doubt that consumers are interested in Netflix, Hulu and the like. But pay TV continues to expand its reach across Western Europe, and advertisers will continue to spend more across the medium.
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