Despite the increasing amount of free content available, an Infonetics Research report has clearly revealed the enduring strength of the pay-TV arena.

The research firm found the people will fundamentally have no hesitation in paying for content that they see is compelling and offers true value: despite the increasing amount of free content especially from over-the-top (OTT) online video sources.

Infonetics found that worldwide revenue from IPTV, cable TV and satellite TV services providers grew to $240 billion in 2010, an 11% increase over the comparable period in 2009.

Of the pay-TV platforms, IPTV grew most significantly, 45%, followed by satellite on 13%. Even though it still accounts for the largest proportion of revenues, cable revenues actually slowed noticeably.

In terms of individual companies, Comcast held the top spot in terms of the number of subscribers with 22.8 million video service customers. By way of revenues, DIRECTV claimed the highest video service ARPU in the industry. In all the top 20 revenue leaders account for 53% of total video services revenue.

Asia Pacific and Central and Latin America were the fastest growing video services markets in 2010, driven by analogue-to-digital conversion activity and strong new subscriber growth in markets such as Brazil, India, Malaysia, and Mexico.

Commenting on the trends unearthed in the research, Teresa Mastrangelo, directing analyst for video at Infonetics Research said “We’re seeing continued growth in the pay-TV market, driven by providers’ ability to offer voice/video/data service bundles, a broad range of linear and on-demand content, and advanced services, such as multi-room DVR and multi-screen video delivery. Although cable MSOs continued to be challenged by competition from IPTV and satellite operators, the overall market remains robust, despite the attractiveness of OTT services.”