The Big Switch On – Christmas TV in Europe

Our global research around the TV viewing habits of consumers this Christmas has been very revealing. For instance, it shows that half of those that sign up to an OTT service will cancel within six months. This reveals a great lack of customer loyalty within the pay-OTT market, along with a greater need for specialized customer retention strategies from operators.

In this post, we’ll look more specifically at our results from the European region. While the big ‘switch on’ usually refers to turning on a massive display of Christmas lights, it could easily apply to the TV, as the OTT market has skyrocketed throughout the UK and Germany in the span of one year’s time.

Germany: Yuletide Greetings for Pay-OTT

German consumers have finally embraced pay-OTT with the percentage subscribing to a service more than doubling since last year (37% compared to 16%) – the biggest proportional jump in growth of any of the markets surveyed. Moreover, 14% of Germans are planning to become new subscribers this Christmas, in addition to 10% of respondents adding a service. Unfortunately, 54% of first-time Christmas subscribers still intend to cancel within six months of the holidays.

Paywizard - German device preferences 2015 vs 2016

Interestingly, Germans aren’t big fans of viewing their Christmas TV on mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets or laptops, as they ranked lower than any country surveyed at 31% – down sharply from 43% last year – with only 13% planning to watch via smartphone.

UK: Eating Mince Pies in Front of the TV

OTT providers are strengthening their grip in the UK this festive season. It has seen the biggest uptick in pay-OTT subscriptions next to Germany, with the proportion nearly doubling to 34% from 19% in 2015. Pay-OTT is also set to receive a big boost this Christmas, as 18% of all consumers are planning to subscribe for the first time. When existing subscribers adding an extra OTT service are included (7%), the total of new subscriptions jumps to 25% (up from 20% in 2015).

Christmas TV is bigger in the UK than any other market, with 71% of Brits planning to watch more TV at Christmas – 24% more. Although Germans aren’t too keen on watching TV from a mobile device, 40% of consumers in the UK are planning to do so.

Paywizard UK pay-TV operatorsThis is yet another example of how preferences can change drastically from country to country among OTT subscribers. Operators must adapt both their marketing strategies and customer experiences to generate optimal customer acquisition and retention this Christmas and beyond.

To dig deeper into the Christmas TV viewing plans of consumers worldwide, download our paper, ‘OTT isn’t just for Christmas: The Gift that Keeps on Giving’.