The OTT and the possible development of the market

by Marco Spagnoli | 02.11.2020

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At the last edition of the Mia Market, there was a lot of talk about business models related to platforms, which is inevitably one of the most burning issues given the complex situation of the theatrical market, but also one of the most relevant topics in terms of the future choices of the European production system. During the panel The online challenge: new business in production and distribution models for digital platforms, Eurovod delegate Silvia Cibien presented some important data regarding her organization, which today in 2020 counts nearly 30 members from 19 countries including digital platforms, but also festivals and technical suppliers. During the lockdown, as stated, the increase in traffic was 78%, with 60% increase in transactions.

The market has seen an overall growth of 270%, while well-known platforms have all marked a double-digit increase in Europe. These extremely significant data that on paper seem to suggest an easy growth, however clash with the high competition of a system that is evidently in constant transition. Despite the obvious areas of action and the evident opportunities, it isn’t easy for new players to conquer ground: the road is still long, given that 44% of these European operators linked to Eurovod lack sufficient marketing resources to enhance its business, while 39% of the products aren’t made available by distributors who seek better agreements in terms of remuneration with the large OTTs. Those same OTTs that achieve brilliant results thanks to the enormous amount of money they have at disposal: in the first quarter of 2020, Netflix recorded a 22.8% leap in the number of subscribers and although nowadays there has been a halt, in a few months the Los Gatos giant has reached a user base that goes from 148.86 to 182.86 million worldwide. Only a few months after its launch, Disney + boasts more than 50 million subscribers. At the beginning of February, the subscribers were 28.6 million; at the beginning of April, 50 million (+ 21 million subscribers during the lockdown).

In our country, there are still many areas for market development: in Italy, in fact, around 40 million people surf the net, 70% of the adult population, a much lower percentage than other countries, such as the United States (89%), the UK (85%), but also France (84%), Spain (83%) and Germany (81%). In July, the total digital audience in our country reached 42.1 million users (70.5% of the population aged 2 and over), with a “seasonal” decline of 2.1% compared to the previous month, typical of summer months, added to the post-lockdown effect which in June saw a greater mobility of people.

Maurizio Imbriale, Deputy Director of Raiplay illustrated the results obtained by the Rai platform. On an average day, the platform led by Elena Capparelli totaled 32.4 million users. Rai Play counted 104.5 million visitors with approximately 67 million viewers (+ 17.5% compared to 2019). 919.6 million views (+ 77% compared to 2019), 18 million registered viewers and 17.3 APP downloads. (+ 45% vs 2019). The constantly expanding Rai Play library amounts to nearly 4000 titles where films, fiction, TV series and documentaries make the lion’s share.

Jaume Ripoll, founder of the Spanish platform Filmin, one of the greatest cornerstones of the Iberian online market, underlined that their catalog of over 20,000 titles is 63% of European origin, and that their subscribers have an average monthly view of at least 13 titles. Most of the company employees work in the communication and marketing department, because today the great challenge of all platforms is to reach the audience also through festivals such as Atlantida, promoted by Filmin and held in Palma de Mallorca during the summer.