Three-quarters of pay-TV subscribers in Western Europe had contracts with Netflix partner operators as at end-2018. Netflix also has a substantial reach through pay-TV households in North America at December last year – with almost 86% of pay-TV subscribers on Netflix operators’ STBs.
Elinor Clark, an analyst at Ampere Analysis, noted: “The increase in the number of pay-TV partnerships with Netflix marks a distinct shift in the industry, as more and more of the streaming giant’s traditional ‘enemies’ cosy up through onboarding deals.
Interestingly, Netflix has now been onboarded onto all the major pay-TV operators in France, a country previously hostile to the US streamer’s arrival.
Netflix has yet to attract many of the large pay-TV operators in Central and South America, Asia-Pacific (APAC), and Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), though it is steadily working on increasing its reach.
These markets, excluding China, host almost 400 million pay-TV subscriptions, while Netflix currently has around only 40 million subscribers in these territories — making these key target areas plumb markets to pursue.
Of course, Netflix is not the only beneficiary. These partnerships are also lucrative for pay-TV operators, providing them with an additional revenue stream when there may be downward pressure on their average revenue per user (ARPU) and, in some markets, cord-cutting.