Netflix has enjoyed remarkable success in Poland since making its debut five years ago and is now firmly established as one of the leading services in the country’s on demand market.
However, the market is also one of the most competitive in Central and Eastern Europe and constantly changing. Aside from Netflix, it is also served by – amongst others – Player, HBO Go, Ipla, Amazon Prime Video, WP.pl, VOD.pl and CDA.pl. Hayu launched in February and is expected to be joined by Disney+ later this year.
Although Netflix does not publish country figures, the service is currently believed to have around one million paying customers in Poland. Meanwhile, as of last August Player was reported as having 375,000, while CDA Premium had 300,000 as of May 2020.
A good measure of just how popular on demand services are in Poland is a monthly survey undertaken by Mediapanel for Wirtualne Media. The latest, for February, is surprising in that it shows Player was seen by 74% more internet users than in January. This made it the most popular browser-accessed service in Poland, pushing Netflix back into second place.
What is particularly significant about Player’s surge in popularity is that it coincided with it becoming a subscription-only service. To access it now requires opting for one of three paid-for packages – Player with commercials for PLN8 (€1.75) a month; Player without commercials for PLN15 a month; and Player+ plus 27 live TV channels for PLN30 a month.
Player’s operator TVN Discovery has made the service more attractive by including 4K content in the two more expensive packages. It is also offering significant savings to users who pay for the service up to a year in advance.
Despite losing top spot to Player in February, Netflix, which has itself surged in popularity in recent months, is likely to bounce back strongly.
Poland’s on demand market as a whole looks set to continue growing for the foreseeable future.
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