A rapid increase in multi-play services has been a key driver in seeing worldwide pay-TV industry continues to grow in terms of both subscriber numbers and service revenue.

According to a new report by ABI Research, such bundled services are more cost-effective for customers than subscribing to each service separately and their uptake has been key to Q1 2011 service revenues growing 10% year on year to $53 billion.

ABI notes that many of the operators have witnessed how triple-play services reduce churn and increase ARPU for all of the different pay-TV platforms. In addition, the analyst believes that analogue switch-off progress across the world drives increase in the number of customers receiving digital TV services and HD TV services.

BAI found that Regionally, North America and Western Europe own the highest market shares of pay-TV service revenue, attributable in the main to high average revenue per user in these regions. However, Asia Pacific is predicted to gain a larger market share than Western Europe in next two years driven by the cable TV sector, especially in countries such as China and India, where there is a high number of cable TV subscribers and potential for increasing ARPU due to the digital conversion progress.

“Digital TV and HD TV services raise monthly ARPU, generating incremental revenue and profit for the pay-TV operators,” notes research analyst Khin Sandi Lynn. “ABI Research expects that worldwide pay-TV service revenue will total $218 billion by the end of 2011.”