Parks Associates: Western Europeans show strong preferences for PC as video platform, and free content, compared to U.S. consumers

Broadband penetration is above 70% in several Western European countries, and up to 30% of the broadband population in some countries prefer PCs over TVs for watching video, with a strong corresponding preference for free online video sources, according to research firm Parks Associates. In the United States, only 13% of broadband households prefer the PC over the TV as a video platform, compared to nearly 30% in Italy and 40% in Spain.

“The growing online population in Western Europe creates a significant audience for premium pay-TV and digital media services, but building revenues continues to challenge providers because consumers are largely using free sources for video viewing,” said Patrice Samuels, research analyst, Parks Associates. “Operators should experiment with free on-demand programming and advertising-based offerings to promote their premium services and other products.”

The Parks Associates report Digital Lifestyles: Western Europe shows on-demand services can attract new subscribers and increase customer satisfaction in Western European countries. For example, Parks Associates’ surveys find 44% of French video service subscribers would switch to a provider that offers free on-demand services.

Highlights from Parks Associates’ European research:

  • European broadband users watch over five hours of PC video per week.
  • Germany has the largest fixed broadband market in Western Europe, with over 29 million subscribers. Despite economic challenges, broadband penetration in Spain is in line with the average for the European Union.
  • Pay-TV penetration among French broadband households is approximately 81%, and 58% of U.K. broadband households have pay-TV subscriptions.
  • In France, 18% of current pay-TV subscribers have downgraded their service to a less expensive TV package within the last 12 months, and another 14% are likely to downgrade. U.K. pay-TV subscribers are relatively satisfied with their service; only 8% are likely to change to a new provider within the next 12 months.
  • Almost 50% of Spanish broadband households and 39% of Italian broadband households have watched a full-length movie on the Internet in the past month.

Parks Associates will host the seventh-annual CONNECTIONS™ Europe technology conference in Amsterdam, 13-14 November, featuring a keynote from Owen Hanks, GM, Mobile – Europe, YuMe, and multiple sessions on service provider strategies for online video:

Broadband Services and the OTT Video Challenge

The Future of OTT Services: Deriving Revenue from New Offerings

Connecting the Consumer to Content – Search, Discovery, and New User Interfaces

For information about CONNECTIONS™ Europe, visit or contact, 972-490-1113.

About Parks Associates

Parks Associates is an internationally recognized market research and consulting company specializing in emerging consumer technology products and services. Founded in 1986, Parks Associates creates research capital for companies ranging from Fortune 500 to small start-ups through market reports, primary studies, consumer research, custom research, workshops, executive conferences, and annual service subscriptions.