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The growth of European TC

Streaming video services driving the growth of European TV market

The top 100 TV companies in Europe are growing twice as fast as the market. This is mainly explained by the dynamic development of subscription-based streaming services. The cumulated revenues of primarily traditional players (i.e. broadcasting and pay-TV distribution) among the top 100 also increased in 2021 (+10% over 2016), a new report by the European Audiovisual Observatory shows.

The report says the growth of the top 100 players was largely driven by the pure SVOD (subscription based video on demand) players, namely Netflix, Amazon, DAZN and Apple. Their cumulated revenues grew by a factor of 6 between 2016 and 2021 and accounted for 44% of the growth of the top 100 players.

“The cumulated AV service operating revenues of the top 100 audiovisual companies in Europe grew between 2016 and 2021 twice as fast as the overall market and at a higher pace than that of average inflation. In other words the top 100 companies grew by 17% in 2021 when compared to 2016.” 

“The positive evolution of the overall AV service market was due to the highly dynamic development of the SVOD revenues.” 

“Meanwhile, the cumulated revenues of primarily traditional players (i.e. broadcasting and pay-TV distribution) among the top 100 also increased in 2021 (+10% over 2016) in contrast to the overall evolution of traditional market segments.”

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“Traditional players brought in 56% of the incremental revenues delivered by the top 100 groups over the same period.” 


  • The top 100 audiovisual companies in Europe by operating AV service revenues were highly resilient, dynamic and drove the overall AV market growth
  • M&A activity surged recently driven by telco players and this activity was more concentrated in the Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) region
  • US interests in the European AV industry continued their upward trend as they prioritized direct investments as opposed to the traditional indirect ones
  • The top AV players in Europe are eclectic as regards their core business which drives the revenues, as well as their internationalisation strategy
  • On the market for pay services, excluding the distribution of third-party services by telcos, broadcasters got the lion’s share of subscriptions within the entire European-owned pay service market.

The top 20 players consistently represented 71% of the top 100 revenue figures over the same period analysed. 

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Public players (PSBs) showed development under the average growth rate of the top 100 audiovisual companies and in 2021 saw their weight diminish by 3% compared with 2016, and consequently their market share drop to 30% in 2021.

The weight of US interests in the top 100 revenues increased in 2021 (by +3% over 2016, up to a 30% market share at the end of 2021) mainly due to the rise of the pure SVOD players but also of the SVOD services of US-backed broadcasters such as Sky, Paramount+ and Disney+. 

The report says that US players tend to start prioritising expansion through direct investments by launching SVOD platforms, acquiring European assets and producing content locally as opposed to traditional indirect investments.

“SVOD stands out as the most concentrated audiovisual market segment in Europe, followed by pay-TV. At the end of 2021, a total of 71% SVOD subscriptions were cumulatively taken out by subscribers to the top 3 OTT platforms (i.e. Netflix, Amazon and Disney+), while 76% of pay-TV subscriptions were cumulated by top 20 pay-TV operators.”

“Broadcasters of prominent pay-TV channels accounted for over 80% of the European share of cumulated pay AV service subscriptions. Contrary to pure SVOD players in general, European-backed broadcasters tend to also be active in the pay-TV segment from which they gain on average half of their cumulated subscriptions to pay-AV services.”

!Conversely, pure SVOD platforms are driving 70% of the US share of pay-AV service subscriptions, with the remaining subscriptions cumulated by the US majors and US-backed European broadcasters.” 

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