Editor | 28-08-2013
New research from Analysys Mason is predicting that the number of households taking pay-TV services in Western Europe will increase by 9.2 million to 113.3 million, an 8.9% growth, between 2013 and 2018.
In the report 'Pay-TV and OTT video services in Western Europe: forecasts and analysis 2013-2018', the analyst calculates that the number of Western European households taking up traditional pay-TV services delivered via analogue or digital cable (including MMDS), IPTV, pay digital terrestrial TV (DTT) or satellite will increase by 4.1 million to 107.7 million, representing 3.9% growth between 2013 and 2018.
Analysys Mason noted that these figures for traditional pay-TV services belie substantial variations between the performances of individual platforms, with gains for some platforms nearly being offset by losses for others during the forecast period. Indeed the analysis suggests that cable households will decrease by 6.2% to 43.6 million between 2013 and 2018; pay-DTT households will decline by 7.7% to 4.9 million, a net reduction of 0.4 million as pay-DTT loses its momentum in major markets such as France, Germany and the UK; and satellite pay-TV households will increase by 3.7% to 31.6 million.
By contrast, the report forecasts consistent growth for IPTV and over-the-top (OTT) and a move away from cable. Yet even though it states that OTT will grow much more strongly than traditional pay-TV services, Analysys Mason does not believe that cord-cutting will be that extreme, with the number of Western European households taking up OTT video services as a primary form of pay-TV increasing by 5.2 million during the period, from 0.4 million in 2013 to 5.6 million by the end of 2018.
Instead, it expects the secondary TV set arena will bear the real brunt of OTT as traditional operators could broaden their reach with their own OTT services to these products. In terms of who will cash in on such growth, the survey points to existing pay-TV operators such as BSkyB with its NOW TV offering being successful in its battle against so-called 'pure-play' OTT video providers such as Netflix.
The number of IPTV households is predicted to increase by 29.0% to 27.6 million, an increase of 6.2 million. Analysys Mason expects strong growth for IPTV in many countries, mostly because of aggressive bundling strategies by telcos, which are offering basic pay-TV services at little or no incremental cost within multi-play propositions in order to gain market share.