Netflix increasingly dominates Swiss streaming landscape

Especially during the Corona crisis, people are increasingly sitting in front of the TV at home. But even before the authorities' bans, the use of streaming services in Switzerland had increased markedly.


Because Netflix dominates the field of paid video streaming, Swiss telecom providers are increasingly focusing on integrating the US streaming service instead of their own offerings. 85 percent of the Swiss population uses at least one streaming service regularly.

The series and film portal Netflix is growing faster than any other streaming service. The American company recorded more than twice as many users at the beginning of 2020 as it did two years ago, according to a survey published on Wednesday by the Internet comparison service Moneyland. Two years ago, one in five respondents had said they used Netflix. Now it was at the time of origin of the study at the beginning of the year before the Corona crisis already about 45 percent.

"The Corona crisis is likely to further strengthen the streaming trend. The big providers will certainly gain more users during this time," Ralf Beyeler, telecom expert at Moneyland, told news agency AWP. "Anything else would be a surprise."

But the small providers would probably also tend to be able to maintain their customer shares or even gain customers. "People wouldn't be allowed out, and what do you do in the evening? You're in front of the TV or in front of the computer." Therefore, he said, streaming services are likely to be used by more people and more frequently.


Youtube used most often

Despite the rapid growth of Netflix, Youtube remains the frontrunner among streaming services. 65 percent of Swiss people watch videos on the platform. In the age group between 19 and 25, the figure is 83 percent, and among 50- to 74-year-olds, around half still use Youtube. In comparison, however, the use of YouTube has only increased by 4 percentage points over the last two years. The platform is therefore growing far less strongly than Netflix.

The high user figures for YouTube are mainly due to the free service. Only around 3 percent of respondents pay for a YouTube subscription. To watch Netflix, on the other hand, around 30 percent of survey participants pay a subscription fee. Another 10 percent said they use Netflix via friends' paid subscriptions. This makes Netflix the clear leader among paid services.


Unchallenged competition from Netflix

Swiss streaming providers cannot keep up with Netflix's superiority. According to the survey, Swisscom's streaming service came a distant second in terms of paid subscriptions. Just under 11 percent of respondents said they paid for Swisscom's streaming.

Just over 3 percent of the population pay a fee for UPC's streaming service, putting UPC in fourth place behind Apple. To stream videos on Sunrise, just under 2 percent of respondents pay a fee.

According to Beyeler, the telecom providers have recognized that they can hardly compete with Netflix with their own streaming services. Mainly because very few users would spend money on multiple streaming services at the same time. "When Netflix launched in Switzerland, there was a bit of a flurry of activity. Providers like UPC and Swisscom launched their own streaming services like Teleclub Play from Swisscom," Beyeler told news agency AWP.

However, these offerings are no longer the focus today, he said. Not only are they expensive to maintain, but they also don't meet customer needs, Beyeler said. That's because Netflix offers the content people want to watch, he said. "That's why there's a shift in thinking, providers are increasingly integrating streaming services like Netflix into their TV offerings instead of relying on their own streaming services."


Telecom providers react

This can be seen by taking a look at the offerings of Swiss telecom providers. Swisscom, for example, reacted to the success of streaming providers when expanding its TV offering and integrated them into the new operating system. Netflix, Sky and the sports streaming platform Dazn now appear on the Swisscom TV screens.

The cable network operators Quickline and UPC have also integrated the Netflix and YouTube offerings into the classic TV interface. At Salt, a Sky package can be booked in addition to TV.

Other providers are not deterred by the superiority of Netflix and Co. The media company CH Media, for example, is planning to offer its own streaming platform. The offerings of CH Media's stations, including 3+, for example, and other TV content are to be made available on a single platform. CH Media is also in talks with SRG, among others, for this. (SDA)

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