Triple-play revenues to reach $144 billion

November 25, 2013 18.15 Europe/London By Robert Briel

Telcos and cable operators are investing heavily in their networks to upgrade their subscribers to bundles (triple-play or double-play).

These operators will reap the rewards of this investment as total subscription revenues (pay TV (including on-demand), broadband and fixed-line telephony) will increase by 65% from $124 billion in 2012 to $205 billion in 2018, according to the Triple-Play Forecasts report from Digital TV Research.

Covering 97 countries, triple-play subscription revenues will reach $144 billion in 2018, up by $80 billion on the 2012 total. Triple-play revenues will command 70% of total subscription revenues by 2018, up from 52% in 2012 and 36% in 2008.

The US ($60 billion – double the 2012 total) will account for 42% of the world’s triple-play revenues by 2018, although this is down from a 59% share in 2008.

Simon Murray, Principal Analyst at Digital TV Research, said: “Triple-play revenues overtook standalone TV revenues in 2009. Standalone TV revenues will start falling from 2013 as subscribers defect to bundles and as cable and DSL/fiber operators offer lower-priced packages due to greater competition from other platforms.”

Triple-play subscriptions will reach 333 million by 2018; up by more than 300 million since 2008 and up by 239 million on the 2012 total. China will have 115 million triple-play subscribers by 2018 (with only 9 million recorded at end-2012) – or 34% of the global total.

The number of triple-play households will overtake the standalone TV total in 2016. The standalone TV total will begin to decline from 2016 as more and more homes convert to bundles.
About 21% of the world’s TV households (covering 97 countries) will subscribe to triple-play services by 2018. This is up from just 7% penetration at end-2012 and only 2% at end-2008.

Despite rapid growth in IPTV subscriptions, cable will contribute nearly two-thirds of triple-play subscribers by 2018. Triple-play penetration will remain a lot higher in DSL and fiber homes (71% by 2018) than in cable homes (42%). However, the DSL and fiber proportion will not grow by too much, whereas the cable proportion will double from 18% in 2012.