There is a significant opportunity for broadcasters and developers in providing video content apps that deliver functionality and features broadcast television cannot match, according to a new report from App Annie.

Apps offering video-on-demand or live streaming content are on the increase, with Europe, and the UK in particular, leading the way in terms of downloads and revenue.

The Apps and the Evolution of Video Content Distribution in Europe report examined on-demand and live streaming video apps in Europe’s three largest app markets, the UK, Germany and France.

Beyond content delivery
App Annie found that popular video content titles indicate TV broadcasters are mainly using apps to enhance viewer loyalty and brand engagement, reinforcing traditional business models that rely on advertising.

A strong app strategy has clearly become a vital part of viewer retention for content providers, the company noted. However, it also pointed out that some content providers have found new revenue streams from mobile.

RTL in Germany and Canalplay in France have generated app-based revenue with subscriptions and one-off payments to access content after a trial period. The UK’s ITV, meanwhile, offers a monthly subscription to remove advertising from video content.

The two types of video content apps that are most successful in generating revenue are those that offer live streaming content and those that provide video content enriched with additional data or interactivity.

Live streaming has been found to be a good way to generate cash, with the revenue charts dominated by live sport apps.

7TV, the most downloaded and tenth largest revenue-generating video content app in Germany, has found success by charging a subscription fee for live streaming, alongside on-demand content.

Enriched content is another way to drive revenue, according to the report. In the UK, Disney Junior Appisodes provides additional interactivity for children’s TV shows, while Hopster TV provides education games that work alongside TV content.

Sports video apps also benefit from this approach by offering additional statistics not available from traditional broadcasters.

UK leading the way
Based on the number of downloads and amount of revenue from the top 10 video content apps, the UK was the leading market in Europe.

Overall, the UK saw 20 per cent more downloads than the German market. But for the top ten video content apps, the UK saw twice as many downloads.

In the UK, downloads from Apple’s App Store and Google Play were equal, whereas Google Play edged ahead in Germany.


The revenue contribution of Google Play was markedly lower, however.

App Annie attributed this to publisher preferences where many of the top video content apps do not offer in-app purchases or paid downloads in Google Play.


Despite seeing half as many downloads as the UK, the top 10 video content apps in Germany generated 70 per cent of the revenue, suggesting a better model for monetisation in this market.

The untapped potential of Google Play
There appears to be huge untapped potential in Google Play in particular, where downloads are increasing but publishers aren’t yet fully taking advantage of revenue opportunities.

In the UK, six of the top 10 video content apps by revenue are only generating revenue from Apple’s App Store. In France and Germany only 20 per cent of revenue for the top 10 titles came from Google Play.