It is a given, that when a market is nascent, any kind of obstacle can be a serious barrier to wider adoption of the product or service.
Take OTT and VoD for example. Many people, for an insignificant monthly sum, subscribe to a live sports service. Last month, one of our VisiTechians was vacationing in Tenerife and decided to watch some UK Premier League Soccer. Except, he couldn’t. He was blocked due to his location.
This got our curiosity going, so we did some research on geo-blocking. One thing we learned was that almost a quarter (23%) of Internet users in Germany wanted to watch videos on the net, which turned out to be inaccessible due to geo-blocking. In Germany alone there are around 25 million Internet users, or nearly one in two, that watch video on the Internet.
Two thirds (66%) of the geo-blocked internet users wanted to watch movies, almost half of them (47%) music videos. An additional 10% tried to access entertainment programmes, 8% sports and 7% a series.
Don’t think this is a big deal? Well, actually, it is. With more than 500 million people in Europe, that is a BIG market being geo-blocked! Content owners are being deprived of satisfied users and, more importantly, substantial revenues.
There are a lot of issues in play here – mostly political and financial. It’s all about making content pay its way in each of the EU member states. And then there are the copyright laws….
Some would say that geo-blocking is a minefield built on quicksand. Others would say that the growing OTT/VOD market is being artificially and unnecessarily held back.
What would you say? Have you ever been geo-blocked? Let us know your thoughts.