Flemish media companies have noticed that the way we are consuming programmes is changing. More and more people are watching streaming services like VRT’s own VRTNU, Netflix and YouTube. Traditional companies are also responding to such changes. Take for instance the plans for a Flemish pendant to Netflix. Suppliers of cable TV services like Telenet and Proximus are also feeling the impact. Their pay-by-view services seem to have reached their ceiling. Today Netflix already reaches 40% of Flemings.
An annual survey of media consumption by the Flemish reveals that by 2017 3% of Flemings had replaced their cable TV subscription by streaming services. By 2019 the figure rose to 6%.
Media expert Lieven De Marez (Ghent University) says we shouldn’t overdramatise: “Flemings have always been slow to take up new technologies, but the latest figures show a trend. These percentages are no accident!”
6% overall may seem little but in the 25 to 34 age bracket the figure is 15%.
Prof Lieven De Marez: “These are young couples with two incomes. They belong to the generation that grew up in a household with lots of media with mummy and daddy paying the subscription. People like this need to decide on which subscription they want when they go and live by themselves. They have new priorities and no longer connect with traditional TV. They prefer Netflix and Spotify”.
Telenet that has plans for a Flemish Netflix will no longer require a traditional cable subscription if you want to benefit from their new services. Being connected to the internet will suffice.
Prof Lieven De Marez: “The market is in full flux. If a Flemish pendant to Netflix is to be a success it needs to be launched now. Netflix has also set the market price: between 10 and 15 euros a month.”