Polish video on demand (VoD) services may come up against stiff competition if major players from the US start operating in Poland.
According to Dziennik Gazeta Prawna, US-based service Netflix may enter the Polish market mid-2014. Recently Netflix, which has 33.5 million subscribers in the US alone, confirmed that it is looking at expanding its European operations. Amazon is also tipped to enter the Polish market, while YouTube has announced that it will set up a paid service in Poland shortly.
Polish VoD and internet TV providers are bracing themselves. “The appearance of Netflix will radically change the Polish TV market,” said Grzegorz Grzegorski, manager of TV services at Netia, an internet provider which offers internet streaming of nearly 50 TV channels in its offer as well as a VoD library.
Grzegorski said that the arrival of services such as Netflix “could be a real threat to content providers and traditional TV operators, which will have to radically change their business model,” adding that changes can already be observed among Polish media groups, such as Cyfrowy Polsat and TVN, which run the Ipla and TVN Player VoD services respectively.
However, “the moment at which people will completely resign from traditional TV viewing will not come fast,” says Dominique Lesage, director of content at Orange Polska told the daily. At the end of the third quarter of 2013, the company had 700,000 users. Meanwhile, Polsat’s Ipla VoD player has around 3.3 million monthly users.
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