Rising HD, IPTV to drive global pay-TV market to 907MN subs in 2013
Joseph O'Halloran | 18-12-2012

Whether in 2013 economies face the edge of the fiscal cliff or not, the pay-TV sector is set to remain robust throughout the year, according to a new survey from ABI Research.

In its Pay-TV Subscribers’ Market Data report, ABI predicts that the global pay-TV market will add nearly 47 million subscribers by the end of 2012 to reach a total of 864 million subscribers. The analyst observed growth across satellite, cable, and IPTV markets but a flattening digital terrestrial TV (DTT) market. In all, it expects that the pay-TV market will continue to grow in 2013 to reach 907 million subscribers.

The main growth drivers highlighted in the ABI report are high definition TV services and, interestingly, IPTV, which the analyst said has been increasing rapidly over the past few years. In 2013, ABI forecasts that the worldwide IPTV subscriber base is expected to add over 9 million subscribers to reach 79.3 million. More than half of the net addition will be from Asia-Pacific; China alone is expected to add more than 3 million subscribers.

Growth in Asian Pacific markets such as China and India will impact positively on the cable market in the short term, maintaining the largest market share of the overall pay-TV market in 2013. However, ABI notes that the rapidly growing IPTV sector will cause cable’s market share to decline to 65.4% in 2013, from 66.2% in 2012.

Furthermore, says the report, at present a third of worldwide pay-TV subscribers are using HDTV services, with penetration highest in North America followed by Western Europe which account for 84% and 76% of total pay-TV subscriptions respectively. “Worldwide HD service adoption is expected to grow. ABI Research forecasts that 38% of global pay-TV subscribers will be subscribing to HDTV services in 2013,” commented Khin Sandi Lynn, research analyst.