Eastern Europe to add 20 million SVOD subscriptions

This is a massive year for Eastern European SVOD, with rollouts from Disney+, SkyShowtime and HBO Max. The region will have 43 million SVOD subscriptions by 2027; up from 23 million at end-2021.

Poland will become market leader in 2026 despite having a much lower population than Russia. Russia and Poland will account for 64% of the region’s SVOD subscribers by 2027, down from 79% in 2021 as other countries grow faster.

Netflix will continue to lead the Eastern European SVOD sector. Netflix will have 8.18 million subscribers by 2027, up from 5.82 million at end-2021. Disney+ will boast 4.69 million subscribers by 2027 despite starting as recently as this June.

Simon Murray, Principal Analyst at Digital TV Research, said: “HBO Max launched in March, with 3.11 million paying subscribers expected by 2027. Many more homes continue to receive HBO online as part of their pay TV subscription.”

Western SVOD platforms withdrew from Russia and are unlikely to return before 2027. These platforms only made a limited impact in Russia, so the subscriber losses are not that great.

Russia is not as dependent on Western content as many other European countries. However, sanctions will result in economic hardship that will adversely affect Russian household spend.

Murray continued: “We assume that Russia will withdraw from Ukraine before end-2022. After the Russian withdrawal, we expect massive investment in Ukraine by Western companies/governments as well as most refugees returning home eventually. It will take some time to rebuild the economy and for homes to spend on entertainment.”

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