Every crisis knows its winners. In any case, the corona crisis has caused sales of streaming TV to continue to rise significantly in 2020 – those who were tied to their own home needed offers to pass the time and get away from it all.
The streaming and pay TV industry had a total of 4.2 billion euros in Germany last year, as the private broadcaster association Vaunet announced on Tuesday in Berlin. In 2019, sales were still at 3.8 billion euros. Vaunet managing director Frank Giersberg expects further, albeit more moderate, growth to reach 4.5 billion euros in 2021. What a development: in 2015, sales were still 2.5 billion euros.
According to the association, the only growth driver in 2020 was the business with digital streaming offers à la Netflix. Pay TV saw a decline to 2.1 billion euros (2019: 2.3 billion euros), but classic pay TV remains the single segment with the highest turnover in the industry. Elke Waltheim from Sky Deutschland said, “Unique content is more in demand than ever and the willingness to spend money on good content is increasing.”
Subscriptions are driving the streaming market
In the German streaming market, the business with subscriptions, such as those that have to be concluded with Netflix, is the strongest segment: With the so-called subscription video-on-demand (SVoD), a total turnover of 1.6 billion euros was achieved in 2020 achieved (2019: 1.2 billion euros). 1.8 billion euros are expected for 2021. In the Corona year 2020, the market for streaming received a boost due to the pandemic, but no decline can now be observed and the usage figures remained at a high level, said Henning Nieslony, co-managing director of the RTL streaming platform TV Now.
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The number of streaming subscribers in Germany was 17.5 million in 2020 and, according to Vaunet’s forecast, will exceed the 20 million mark for the first time this year. On average, a German household has now taken out around two streaming subscriptions, said Nicole Agudo Berbel, managing director of the ProSiebenSat-1 subsidiary Seven.One Entertainment Group.
The number of pay TV subscribers remained stable at around eight million in 2020. The annual average reached 17.4 million viewers per month, an increase of 200,000 people compared to 2019.
Newspapers: fewer ads, stable distribution
Looking back at 2020 looks less encouraging for the newspaper industry. According to the Federal Association of Digital Publishers and Newspaper Publishers (BDZV), the German newspapers lost a sixth of their sales with advertisements and advertising due to Corona. Specifically, the industry posted a minus of 16.9 percent to 1.8 billion euros, which was at least partially offset by higher sales revenues (plus 4.1 percent to 5.17 billion euros), especially in the e-paper area. The bottom line was a slight decrease of 2.3 percent with total sales of 6.99 billion euros. Ads and advertising thus only make up 26 percent of revenue.
A survey by the BDZV on the economic situation in the first quarter of 2021 showed that this trend had continued at least at the beginning of the year: the number of advertisements remained declining, the sales revenues increased slightly. A similar development is expected for the second quarter. However, due to the collapse of the advertising and advertising markets after the start of the pandemic in March / April 2020, a comparison is difficult. There are also positive signals from the industry. Advertisement sales are picking up again, especially in the food, furniture and regional trade sectors.