Global pay-TV user base rushes past 900MN
Joseph O'Halloran | 30-04-2014
HDTV uptake has been a key driver in a pay-TV market that grew 5% annually by the end of 2013, according to a report from ABI Research.

This means, says the Pay TV ARPU and Revenues report, the global pay-TV subscriber base now stands at 901.1 million and is set to reach 1.1 billion by 2019.

The analyst also found that, in general, the pay-TV market grew both in terms of subscribers and service revenue across all platforms with overall service revenue reaching almost $250 billion in 2013. However, the average revenue per user (ARPU) dropped slightly to $23.80 in 2013 from $24.10 in 2012 thanks mainly to unfavourable currency exchange rates in some regions.

In the key North American market, though, pay-TV ARPU increased around 4% to $76 in 2013 with the growth for major pay-TV operators mainly due to an increase in the proportion of customers with advanced set-top boxes and upgraded HDTV packages.

Subscription to HDTV services accounted for 41% of total pay-TV subscriber base in 2013 and ABI Research forecasts that the subscriber base of HD-TV services will continue to increase to 57% of total pay-TV subscribers in 2019. As competition in the pay-TV market has increased, said the analyst, operators will continue to offer more HD programing services, advanced set-top boxes and innovative services to boost pay-TV ARPU.

The research predicts that increasing broadband connectivity will help IPTV market growth. "The IPTV market is likely to grow at a faster pace than other platforms, with a CAGR of 9% over the next five years to reach 160 million subscribers in 2019. The global pay-TV market is expected to generate $317.5 billion in 2019," commented industry analyst Khin Sandi Lynn.