Consuming videos online has become a common pastime in European countries. Saudi Arabia has an online video penetration rate of 94 percent and thus leads a worldwide comparison. Leading European countries in terms of online video viewing are Spain and the United Kingdom. Germany, in comparison, fails to keep pace.
The share of individuals in Europe who use the internet to play or download content (including films) is highest in the Benelux and in Nordic countries. A third of users in France and Spain watch online video content daily . Consumer spending on digital video and VOD in Europe has steadily grown, while retail video sales have been declining since 2008. Retail sales of access to entertainment products in the UK , rather than ownership, have been contributing to growing revenues in this segment.

International subscriber numbers for Netflix , one of the most important international video content providers, have been growing, despite the fact that Netflix national movie and TV show databases in European countries offer only a part of the U.S. catalogue. The United Kingdom, where Netflix's database consists of roughly 35 to 38 percent of U.S. content, is the country with the most Netflix subscribers in Europe . On the UK market, Netflix's share of use is far below YouTube, BBC iPlayer and Amazon if all types of digital content (including music, e-books and games) are considered.

As of March 2016, the online video penetration rate by device amounted to 21 percent among smartphone and tablet users. Among the entire UK population, the majority use online TV catch up services and watch video content on platforms other than YouTube. Reasons for watching online videos in the UK include entertainment, inspiration, relaxation and escapism.


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