Earlier this month Poland’s National Broadcasting Council (KRRiT) published a report on the national and European VOD markets.
Drawing on research by companies such as PMR and Wavemaker, along with its own analysis, it provides particularly useful insights into recent and current trends in Poland.
Improvements in internet access have acted as a catalyst for VOD services in the country in the last few years, with the number of on demand users increasing from 4.86 million in 2014 to 10.12 million in 2019. Indeed, as of the beginning of 2019, 72% of all internet homes were already watching on demand services. By 2020, 29% chose to do so on a daily basis and over 30% several times a week.
In terms of time spent viewing, the most popular length in 2020 was 2-3 hours daily, among just over half (51.4%) of users. Furthermore, around 70% of VOD users watched services in primetime, or 18.00-23.00.
Although there were several reasons why they chose VOD, the most commonly given were lack of interesting programmes on TV (34.6%) and ability to stop and resume viewing at any time (33.8%).
Choice of VOD content was also interesting. As of 2020, foreign films had the most appeal (60.1% of viewers), followed by foreign series (51.6%), Polish films (49.4%) and Polish series (44.8%).
Significantly, the report also highlights the fact that on demand services in Poland are offered by a wide variety of providers. They range from TV broadcasters, DTH platforms and cable operators to telcos, virtual operators and film producers and distributors, not to mention specialised local and foreign internet SVOD providers such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.
There is also an interesting shift taking place in the funding model used by on demand services. Although AVOD was still the most popular as of 2019, with some 5 million users, paid was rapidly catching up, with the number of customers tripling to almost 5 million between 2014-2019. What is more, revenues from paid services exceeded PLN1 million for the first time, or around 10% of the entire pay-TV market.
The total number of SVOD subscribers in 2019 stood at 2,048,000 in 2019, or almost double the 1,058,000 two years earlier. The growing popularity of subscription services is slowly starting to impact TVOD, which together with PPV accounted for around 40% of on demand revenues. As of 2019, TVOD/PPV had 2.1 million users and saw some 9 million transactions.
The report also highlights the fact that piracy remains a major problem in Poland. A study by SW Research found that in 2018 around 10% of Netflix accounts may have been pirated.
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