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Eastern Europe wakes up to OTT

Android-smartphone-and-tabletEastern European over-the-top (OTT) TV and video revenues are expected to reach nearly $2bn by 2021, which represents a growth of over 400% from the $454m recorded in 2015.

The Eastern Europe OTT TV & Video Forecasts by Digital TV Research, which analysed 18 countries in the region, showed that Russia accounted for half the region’s OTT revenues in 2015 and is expected to remain at this level for the next five years. Of the $1.5bn additional revenues expected between 2015 and 2021, Russia is expected to provide $724m, with Poland bringing in a further $220m.

“The Eastern European OTT TV and video sector is more immature than most of the rest of the world,” explained Simon Murray, principal analyst at Digital TV Research. “Although this is changing with several platform launches, the region will still have lots of room for growth after 2021.”

Subscription video on-demand (SVOD) will become the region’s largest OTT revenue source in 2016. SVOD revenues will total just over $1bn by 2021, up from only $4 million in 2010. Russia will remain the SVOD revenue leader, with Poland taking second place.

Digital TV Research forecasts nearly 20m SVOD subscribers by 2021, up from 125,000 in 2010 and 3.5m at the end of 2015. Russia will have more than 10 million SVOD subscribers by 2021.

Murray explained: “Netflix launched across the region in January 2016. However, it has been criticised for being too expensive, lacking local content or even being too English-language focuses and is yet to announce any local distribution partnerships. Perhaps Netflix has plans to rectify this, but it better move quickly before local players, especially in Russia and Poland, gain too great a foothold.”

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