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eMarketer Releases Latest Estimates for Digital Video Viewing in Western Europe

France and Germany lag much of the region

December 13, 2016 | Video

eMarketer updated its estimates for digital video use in Western Europe, predicting that more than seven in 10 internet users will be digital video users by 2020.

Digital Video Viewers and Penetration in Western Europe, 2016-2020 (millions, % change and % of internet users)

For 2016, eMarketer estimates that 211.6 million internet users in Western Europe will watch digital video at least once a month. That works out to 66.9% of all internet users.

Digital video viewing is expected to increase steadily through the forecast period, driven by an increase in the number of on-demand services such as Netflix and Amazon as well as the proliferation of mobile devices and faster internet speeds. By 2020, eMarketer predicts there will be 234.7 million digital video users across the region.

Germany has one of the lowest penetration levels in the region, with just 61.3% of internet users watching video. That works out to less than half of the total population. This is in part due to a population that skews older than much of Western Europe. In addition, as heavy users of traditional TV, people in Germany may be less inclined to watch online videos or sign up for video subscription services. By 2020, the end of the forecast period, eMarketer predicts that digital video users will account for 52.9% of the population in Germany, equating to 42.8 million users.

Internet users in France aren’t much more likely to view digital video. eMarketer senior analyst Karin von Abrams tied the low video use to the countries’ relatively slow embrace of social networks. “The populations in both countries came rather late to social media,” she said. “And because video sharing is widespread within those networks, social platforms have helped to encourage digital viewing. This booster effect appeared later in France and Germany, and has been less marked.”

By contrast, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and the UK have some of the highest rates of digital video use in Western Europe, with more than three-fifths of the population in each of these countries streaming or downloading video content at least monthly. “Mobile, in particular, will be key to incremental value gains as brands explore more personalized relationships with digital video viewers,” von Abrams said.

Worldwide, digital video will be watched by more than 1.98 billion consumers in 2016, a year-on-year increase of 10.1%. By the end of the forecast period in 2020, almost a third of the global population (32.8%) will be watching digital video—more than 2.5 billion users.

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