Digital TV Research: End of Ukraine War Would Jumpstart Eastern European SVOD Growth

An end to Russia’s unlawful invasion of Ukraine would help jumpstart SVOD growth in Eastern Europe, with the region generating 43 million SVOD subscriptions by 2027, up from 23 million at the end of 2021, according to new data from Digital TV Research.

With the withdrawal of SVOD platforms from Russia and unlikely to return before 2027, London-based Digital Research contends 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,” principal analyst Simon Murray said in a statement. “However, sanctions [continue to] result in economic hardship that will adversely affect Russian household spend.”

Murray assumes that Russia will withdraw from Ukraine before the end of 2022.

“After the Russian withdrawal, we expect massive investment in Ukraine by Western companies/governments as well as most refugees returning home eventually,” he said. “It will take some time to rebuild the economy and for homes to spend on entertainment.”

Poland will become market leader in 2026 despite having a much lower population than Russia. Poland and Russia (if the war with Ukraine ends) 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 with 8.18 million subs by 2027, up from 5.82 million at the end of 2021. Disney+ will boast 4.69 million subscribers by 2027 despite launching as recently as this June.

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

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