Kagan: TV in Poland Leaves 'Development' Stage

Poland is steadily leaving the “emerging market” phase of its development, matching or exceeding its Western European counterparts in the use of digital entertainment and boding well for U.S. programmers that made investments in the region, according to SNL Kagan.

According to Kagan, not only have Polish consumers have been buying smartphones and tablets, they are more likely to use them for digital entertainment than consumers in other countries.

A few U.S. companies have dipped their toes in the Polish market in recent years, with Scripps Networks Interactive purchasing one of the country’s leading cable networks – TVN – last September.  Time Warner Inc., has a presence in Eastern Europe with its interests in Central European Media Enterprises and other programmers have shifted their focus to that part of the world to capture a part of the growing TV ad  market.

According to a study conducted in late 2015 by Consumer Insights, 83% of Internet adults in Poland own a smartphone, which is in line with France, Germany and the United Kingdom. At 53%, tablet ownership in Poland is comparable to adoption levels in Western Europe and the country has one of the highest penetration rates for smart TVs in Europe.

Polish consumers are also big users of on-demand content. According to SNL Kagan, 60% of Internet adults in Poland reported using broadcaster or pay TV operator VOD services over the past 30 days, a level exceeded only by consumers in the U.K. (69%). But VOD usage lags those consumers in Western Europe at only 18%. But Polish consumers exceed other regions in their usage of digital content on personal computers. According to Kagan, 41% of PC owners in Poland report using the device to stream video content from an online service, more than twice the level in the U.K. (16%) and Italy (20%) and three times the rate of consumers in Germany (13%) and France (13%). Poland also exceeds the other countries surveyed in streaming video from a pay TV operator’s website (28%), the use of transactional video rental/purchasing services (28%/29%) and streaming online music (49%).