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Report: Netflix Growth Projections in Europe 'Way Too Low’

Over-the-top video is exploding across the pond.

That is the conclusion of a new report, The Rise of Paid OTT in Europe, from Rethink Technology Research.

It predicts that OTT subscriptions in Europe will reach €8.1 billion ($9.8 billion) by 2021, or up €3.9 billion ($4.76 billion) over the next five years.

Netflix has been a big driver of pay OTT and will continue to be so.

The report suggests that forecasts for Netflix's growth in Europe are "way too low." It says at the end of 2016 there were 19 million Netflix subs there but predicts that will be 45 million by 2021, almost two thirds of the 62 million SVOD subs it predicts by that time.

The report predicts that free VOD subs will top those in the U.S. by 2021.

The report points out that free OTT services in Europe are more deeply penetrated than anywhere in the world, with almost half the population over age 12 (216 million) watching online.

On what is Rethink basing its predictions?

"Essentially the report is based on a combination of public statements from operator executives, publicly held data and 14 years of interviewing operators and vendors on their essential numbers – video and broadband subscribers," said report author Peter White.

"We then develop market penetration formulas, which echo this development and apply them to anyone who indicates they have or will start a similar service. The number of 'regular OTT users' is pretty much well established for the larger players, and then applying rules of thumb that we have teased out since our first report in 2011 on OTT video, to how rapidly rivals react to the threat of OTT offerings," he added.