EUROPE: More than seven in ten internet users in Western Europe will be digital video users by 2020, according to new figures from eMarketer.

The research firm has estimated that in 2016 there are some 211.6m internet users across the region watching digital video at least once a month and it predicted that this will grow to 234.7m over the next four years.

During that time the proportion of all internet users watching digital video will advance from 66.9% to 70.7%, helped by a combination of increased mobile device ownership, faster connectivity and an increase in the number of on-demand services such as Netflix and Amazon.

But the spread of digital video is not occurring uniformly across the continent, with Germany and France, for example, lagging behind.

Germany, eMarketer noted, has one of the lowest penetration levels in the region, with just 61.3% of internet users watching video – which works out at less than half of the total population.

Factors at work here include an older population than much of the rest of Western Europe, while Germans are also heavy users of traditional TV, which, eMarketer suggested, could make them less inclined to watch online video or sign up for video subscription services.

Another factor, which Germany holds in common with France, is that both countries have been relatively slow to embrace social networks.

"The populations in both countries came rather late to social media," said Karin von Abrams, senior analyst at eMarketer.

"And because video sharing is widespread within those networks, social platforms have helped to encourage digital viewing. This booster effect appeared later in France and Germany, and has been less marked."

But other northern European countries, including Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and the UK, have some of the highest rates of digital video use in Western Europe, with more than three-fifths of the population in each of these countries streaming or downloading video content at least monthly.

"Mobile, in particular, will be key to incremental value gains as brands explore more personalised relationships with digital video viewers," von Abrams said.

Data sourced from eMarketer; additional content by Warc staff