European Consumers Are Reaching Streaming Saturation Point Claims New Study

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European consumers may be reaching peak streaming, claims a new study by digital piracy firm Muso.

The UK-based firm today released data from consumer research looking into the increasingly fragmented streaming services landscape. 64.2% of the 1,000 European adults surveyed said they wouldn’t be paying out for any more services this year.

Two-thirds (66.7%) of people said that they currently subscribe to one or two streaming services and 20.8% subscribe to three or four services. The survey found that 80.4% think that they’re currently paying too much for content streaming.

With 66% of people surveyed paying less than £30 ($38) a month for streaming services, Muso believes there is a low ceiling on what consumers expect to pay for the content they enjoy.

This is a relatively small sample size and streaming remains the new frontier, but the figures aren’t necessarily great news for new Apple, Disney and Britbox services launching later this year. That said, consumers are likely to have a better sense of what they will want and need in a year or two’s time once these services are up and running. With WarnerMedia’s streaming service another potential entrant into Europe down the line, this space is about to become even more fragmented and competitive.

When asked about content that’s not available to them on any of their current choice of service, 50.8% of responders to the survey said they were likely or very likely to search for that content across unlicensed platforms. According to Muso’s Global Piracy Index released earlier this year, UK audiences made over 5.7BN visits to piracy sites in 2018 and ranked ninth in the world. 3.2 billion of those overall visits were specifically around unlicensed TV streaming.

Andy Chatterley, CEO and co-founder at MUSO commented, “Expecting consumers to pay almost £100 a month for access to content may well be a challenge. So much of it is siloed off and exclusive across so many different paid-for platforms, that it’s difficult for consumers to subscribe to everything they want. This research shows that people will inevitably seek it elsewhere via unlicensed platforms, but this does, however, create further opportunities for content owners to understand this audience with meaningful and valuable insights.”

Chatterley continued, “With most people only subscribing to only a couple of services, it’s going to be really interesting to see what happens with the launch of Disney+ and Apple TV+. Will consumers ditch an existing service for one of the new ones? Or will Apple struggle to crack the TV market again?”

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