More than 35 000 films are available in Switzerland as video on demand against payment (VoD) to buy, rent or view on subscription and streaming services (SVoD). Demand is focused - even more than in the cinema - on US productions.
The FSO statistics on VoD concern films lasting at least 60 minutes, available in digital form against payment. The range of paying VoD platforms in Switzerland is uncomplicated. In 2021 there were 20 providers operating 26 platforms:
With over 35 000 films per year, the assortment of films on these platforms is huge. In 2021, over 25 000 films were available for sale, 28 000 for rental and just under 17 000 via subscription and streaming services (SVoD).
In recent years, utilisation of the types of VoD have grown as follows:
The volume of films viewed via subscription and streaming services (SVoD) has grown steadily. Even excluding series, the number of annual views in recent years has not only been maintained, the use of subscription services has become brisker each year. The volume of views in 2021 rose again by 19% in comparison with the previous year. This growth rate is much lower than in previous years, but it is still at a high level compared to other types of VoD.
The appeal of film rental on VoD is increasingly losing ground. Between 2017 and 2021, the number of digital film rentals fell by 54% to 4.3 million. In 2019 and 2020, this downward trend seemed to level off (-7% in both years), but in 2021, digital film rentals were again a third lower than in the previous year.
Film sales on VoD in recent years initially escalated, somewhat surprisingly. Between 2017 and 2019, the number of digital film sales on VoD platforms rose by 24% to 1.28 million. However, in 2020, sales fell by 6% to 1.21 million sales, in 2021 by as much as 21% to 0.96 million sales.
Film offering and utilisation by origin of films
In addition to American films, which accounted for roughly half of VoD films, in 2021, European productions were also well-represented in the film offering. They made up almost 40% of films available to buy and to rent and 34% of those on subscription services. In terms of utilisation, however, US productions dominate to a large extent (69-78%).
Swiss films have little presence on VoD platforms: Some 2% of films available to buy or rent and around 3% of films on subscription and streaming services (SVoD) are Swiss. Demand for these films is even lower. Around 1% of film sales and considerably less than 1% of views on subscription and streaming services (SVoD) concern Swiss productions.
Regardless of a film’s origin, around 30% of VoD films were also screened in Swiss cinemas. These films account for more than three quarters of sales and rentals, and on subscription and streaming services for around a half of all views.
Film offering and utilisation by genre category
A disproportionate amount of attention is given to animated films. In 2021, – depending on the type of VoD – only 4% of films available were animated films. However, they generated 17% of film sales, 10% of film rentals and 11% of views on subscription and streaming services.
With over 8% of the VoD film offering, documentary films are somewhat better represented than animated films, but with 3% these show a much lower percentage of utilisation. All other films come under the genre category “feature films”. Given the breadth of this category, it is hardly surprising that films in this category dominated both in terms of offering and utilisation.