One of the biggest recent changes in modern culture has been the spectacular rise in the popularity of Subscription Video On Demand Services (SVOD). SVOD is part of the ‘Over the Top’ (OTT) industry which delivers content directly to customers via the internet, bypassing traditional media systems such as Broadcast TV, Cable and Satellite platforms.
In fact, to put the importance of SVOD services into perspective, more than 40% of internet users worldwide are subscripted to one or more platforms, which totals at nearly 2 billion people.
What Is Subscription Video On Demand?
Subscription Video on Demand (SVOD) allows you to access films, TV series and shows directly from your laptop, tablet or mobile device. In order to access the SVOD services you must pay a small recurring subscription fee. The subscription fee is either charged on a monthly or annual basis. Once you have registered and paid for your subscription you can access unlimited content on the platform.
SVOD platforms have a massive selection of TV shows and movies, including new releases and old movies and shows. The platforms have easy-to-navigate interfaces and because you can watch a show at any time there’s no need to worry about the programming schedules. This allows you to watch a series, movie or TV show at any time that is convenient for you.
One of the major factors that has helped SVOD platforms to thrive is the major improvements in internet speeds and coverage. This means that as long as you have a modern, internet compatible device, you can stream movies without buffering, even in rural parts of Italy. However, the vast libraries of content and the low cost of subscription have also made SVOD services an appealing option for the contemporary consumer of video content.
Italy’s Top 5 Streaming Video On Demand (SVOD) Services.
The following are Italy’s biggest SVOD service providers. Note that the content that you will see on Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney in Italy could be different from the ones you see in the United States.
With 28% of Italy’s SVOD market share, Netflix is the nation’s most popular platform for watching video content online. The monthly subscription fee is very reasonable and the platform has one of the largest video libraries on the planet.
Netflix, Inc, is an American corporation that is headquartered in California and operates throughout the world. With over 220 million subscribers globally and over 70 million subscribers in Europe alone, Netflix is one of the biggest players in the SVOD industry.
You can access Netflix using a wide range of devices. This can use the Netflix app on your web browser, Smart TVs, Set-Top Boxes, tablets, smartphones, Blu-Ray players, VR headsets and any other device that is compatible with the platform.
This makes Netflix a hugely convenient SVOD and with such an enormous range of movies, TV shows and exclusive Netflix content, it’s undoubtedly one of the best options for anyone living in Italy. The vast majority of the content on Netflix is English language, although subtitles are also available for foreign language films and shows.
For Expats living in Italy, having access to Netflix means that you can put your feet up and watch English language movies and shows – something which you won’t find on the terrestrial TV channels.
Amazon Prime Video is the second most popular SVOD platform in Italy with a market share of 27%, only slightly behind Netflix. Amazon is an American corporation that started as an online book seller but has expanded massively into a wide variety of other sectors, including, in recent years, the SVOD industry.
Amazon Prime Video launched across the world in 2016 which is when it first became available in Italy and the rest of continental Europe. The price of a monthly subscription is extremely competitive and the choice of content is truly amazing.
As well as the stand-alone SVOD service, you can also sign up for Amazon Prime Video through the Amazon Prime subscription which gives you superior services right across the company’s various platforms, including shopping and video gaming. Amazon Originals is a new feature on the platform which airs exclusive content that was commissioned by Amazon Prime Video and includes some really great titles that you can’t watch anywhere else.
Amazon Prime Video can be accessed on a wide range of devices and is a great option for Expats in Italy. The content is mainly English language but you can also watch many foreign films and TV series with subtitles on the platform.
Disney+ is Italy’s third most popular SVOD service and has a total market share of 16%. Disney+ is a content streaming service that hosts and distributes films and TV series that are produced by Walt Disney Television and Walt Disney Studios. The platform also has a number of dedicated hubs for content that is made by National Geographic, Pixar and Marvel. Disney+ also distributes original films and TV series which you can’t see elsewhere.
Disney+ only launched in 2019 in America and didn’t become available in Italy until March 2020. Even so, the platform has exploded in popularity since it first became available in Italy. Disney airs a great selection of content for children but it also caters to adults, screening documentaries, SuperHero movies and everything else you would expect to see from Disney.
TIMvision is an Italian SVOD platform that used to be called Cubovision. Run by Telecom Italia, TIMvision has a market share of 7% in Italy and airs movies, TV shows and series.
TIMvision airs the very best of Italian films, TV series, including cartoons, and original TIMvision productions and content. You can also watch international films on TIMvision although most of the content is in Italian. This means that if you’re an Expat in Italy who is trying to learn Italian, subscribing to TIMvision is a great way to practice your listening and comprehension skills while enjoying some of Italy’s premier films and TV series.
As a subscriber to TIMvision, you can access a big library of crime and lifestyle shows, in the platform’s Discovery+ catalog. TIMvision’s content also includes the complete Eurosport catalog, Women’s Serie A and a great selection of On Demand sporting events from around Europe.
TIMvision is Italy’s top homegrown SVOD platform and has a superb selection of Italian-made and international films and series. A great choice for anyone who wants to immerse themselves in Italian cultural life, TIMvision can be accessed using Android smartphones, tablets, TV devices, iPhones and iPads. You can also access TIMvision using your Microsoft devices, as long as you are using Windows 8 or above, Sony Blu-ray Disc players, CTVs, LG and Samsung devices.
Originally launched as ‘Now TV’, the company currently goes under the brand name ‘NOW’ and has a 5% market share in Italy. Operated by the UK corporation Sky, NOW is a great SVOD platform that provides content for a low cost monthly subscription as well as on a video-on-demand basis. NOW began operating in Italy, and other parts of Europe, in 2012 and although it never attracted a huge audience it is still very popular with Expats in the country.
NOW airs a lovely range of content including award winning TV shows and dramas, the latest HBO box sets and exclusive, Sky Originals. You can also watch the recent blockbuster movie releases on demand as well as original Sky films on the platform. For sports fans, NOW provides a brilliant service that includes all of the 11 Sky Sports channels, both live and on demand. You can watch on-demand sporting events on NOW with a monthly membership or on the basis of a one day contract.
Although NOW doesn’t have the enormous library of TV series and movies that some of its major competitors do, NOW is head and shoulders above the competition when it comes to sporting content.
A Streaming Video On Demand Service Can Be A Lifeline For Expats In Italy.
As an Expat in Italy, it can sometimes feel a little isolating not to have access to the latest English language movies, TV shows and series. However, with the modern internet and improved WiFi coverage in Italy, it’s never been easier to keep up to date with the latest movie and TV show releases.
From movies to TV shows, documentaries to dramas and live sports, SVOD services are extremely affordable and allow you to follow your favorite content from the comfort of home, even while you’re overseas.