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Market Research Report

OTT TV Without Borders

Published by Ovum (TMT Intelligence, Informa) Product code 234033
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OTT TV Without Borders
Published: March 27, 2012 Content info:

GC sites like YouTube have always been inherently global; now some of their premium peers are joining their ranks. Netflix, Hulu and others all see fruitful opportunities in reaching beyond their domestic markets.

OTT video service providers are launching their services internationally. This report reviews their individual strategies and performance. It also highlights the advantages that launching internationally offers both mass-market and niche players.


Unconstrained by the necessity to invest heavily in infrastructure in each new country, leading OTT video players are on the move. Netflix, Hulu, and the BBC's iPlayer have all, to some degree, expanded outside their domestic markets to launch elsewhere.

International OTT video services will have to exploit their advantages where they can as they compete with rivals that have a very similar service. They will have to use what advantages they have  be that their connected device reach or their sophisticated recommendation system. But relying on these alone is not enough, international OTT video services must ensure they are sensitive to local preferences. Investment in local content is vital, otherwise users will see little value in the service.

But international OTT is not only about providing mass-market services, it offers a unique opportunity for niche services  be that by genre or targeted towards certain ethnic groups. With the rollout of the Global iPlayer, BBC Worldwide is attempting to build direct relationships with British expats and Anglophiles in many major markets. Although taken individually, subscriber numbers in each of these markets can only ever be small, taken as a total, the subscriber base could be substantial.

Countries/regions covered:

  • Western Europe
  • UK
  • France
  • Germany
  • Spain
  • Italy
  • Asia Pacific
  • Japan
  • Australia
  • Latin America
  • Brazil
  • North America
  • Canada
  • US

Case studies include:

  • Netflix
  • Hulu
  • Global iPlayer

How will this research help you:

  • Understand the key drivers behind the recent expansion of OTT video services into additional markets
  • Identify best practices for providing international OTT services
  • Evaluate different strategies for international OTT services
  • Assess the impact of international OTT players on your business.

Contributing Analysts

  • Natalie Bursk, Business Research Executive, Informa Telecoms & Media
  • Andrew Ladbrook, Senior Analyst, Informa Telecoms & Media
Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Contributing author

Successful OTT services expanding abroad must outfox familiar foes

  • Fig. 1: Global, online-video users, regional penetration, 2010 and 2015
  • Fig. 2: Selected international OTT video services
  • Fig. 3: Market positioning of certain international OTT providers based on target audience and content, Feb-12
  • Fig. 4: Considerations for OTT players when internationalizing content
  • Fig. 5: Options for international OTT business models based on user subsidy

Netflix stutters and Hulu crawls in the race for world OTT domination

  • Fig. 1: Overview of Hulu and Netflix
  • Fig. 2: International expansion of Hulu and Netflix
  • Fig. 3: Hulu and Netflix content partners, Feb-12
  • Fig. 4: Hulu's and Netflix's international OTT video rivals, Feb-12
  • Fig. 5: Devices compatible with Hulu's and Netflix's international services
  • Fig. 6: Netflix, total subscriptions and net additions, 3Q10-4Q11
  • Fig. 7: SWOT analysis for Hulu's and Netflix's international expansion
  • Fig. 8: UK example, Netflix's target market for users

The iPlayer Empire: BBC Worldwide chooses its OTT markets wisely

  • Fig. 1: Launch markets for Global iPlayer
  • Fig. 2: Comparison between Global iPlayer and BBC (UK) iPlayer, Feb-12
  • Fig. 3: Global, BBC Worldwide headline sales, 2009-2011
  • Fig. 4: Emigration by British citizens to top five countries of next residence, 2006-2010
  • Fig. 5: User interfaces of Global iPlayer and BBC (UK) iPlayer
  • Fig. 6: SWOT analysis for Global iPlayer
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