April 15, 2021
The pending arrival of HBO Max, combined with Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+, will greatly affect subscription streaming video in Western Europe, according to new data from Digital TV Research. The region featuring Germany, the U.K., France, Portugal, Ireland, Holland, Spain, Italy, Luxemburg, Monaco, Lichtenstein, Belgium and Austria will have 234 million SVOD subs by 2026, up from 137 million subs at the end of 2020.
Despite losing market share, Netflix will remain the largest SVOD platform. Netflix will have 74 million paying European subs by 2026 — up by 20 million from 2020. Disney+ will become the second-largest platform by 2025, surpassing Amazon Prime Video. Now available in most Western European countries, Disney+ will have 55 million paying subs by 2026; up by 36 million on 2020.
HBO Max will launch in the six countries where it already has operations — the Nordic countries, Portugal and Spain — before the end 2021. However, Max will not start in some key European countries due to existing exclusive contracts. For example, HBO’s contract with Sky in Austria, Germany, Ireland, Italy and the U.K. lasts until 2025.
“If Max started across the region’s 18 countries in 2021, we estimate that it would amass 10 million subs by 2026. This will not happen, so its total will be 3.3 million across six countries by 2026,” analyst Simon Murray said in a statement.