Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Video Usage: Europe versus U.S.

CONNECTIONS™ Europe will feature several sessions – including All Eyes on Video Service Evolution – examining the strategies of the providers driving European-led efforts for online video – and how they differ from the U.S.

These companies include broadband and television providers looking to differentiate and add value to their existing access services as well as content owners such as the BBC, Canal, BSkyB, and broadcasters. Already the European market is shaping up differently than the U.S. market. For one, the European model will likely be more integrated with existing services and less “over-the-top” than is typical in the U.S. While U.S. service providers are all scrambling to provide online video services to complement their existing access services, the Europeans will have more success by integrating so-called over-the-top content with their services and their customer premise equipment.

Such integration of content and services could help counter a worrisome trend in online video for Western Europe. Parks Associates’ Entertainment 2.0 in Europe found a relatively high percentage of broadband households, including almost one-third in Spain, watch videos online only because they are free. If given the choice (i.e., if they have to pay for it), the vast majority of broadband households in Western Europe prefer more traditional means of watching video, either at the cinema or on DVD.

Panelists at CONNECTIONS™ Europe will focus on the implications of this finding as well as ways to counter it or work within to meet customers’ needs while still maintaining a viable business model.

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