Global pay-TV market surpasses 900 million

May 1, 2014 07.53 Europe/London By Broadband TV News Correspondent

vintage_tv-setThe global pay-TV subscriber base increased over 5% in 2013, raising the total to 901.1 million, according to ABI Research.

However the average revenue per user (ARPU) dropped slightly to $23.80 in 2013 from $24.10 in 2012.

“In general, the pay-TV market grew both in terms of subscribers and service revenue across all pay-TV platforms. Overall pay-TV service revenue reached almost $250 billion in 2013,” said Jake Saunders, VP and practice director of core forecasting, ABI Research.

Pay-TV ARPU in North America increased around 4% to $76.00 in 2013. According to major pay-TV operators in North America, the growth in ARPU is due to a growth in the proportion of customers with advanced pay-TV set-top boxes and upgraded High Definition programming packages. Unfavourable currency exchange rates in Latin American countries have contributed to a US Dollar equivalent decline in the pay-TV ARPU for the region at the end of 2013 to $34.6 (5% reduction from 2012).

Subscription of HD-TV services continue to grow in 2013 accounting for 41% of total pay-TV subscriber base in 2013. 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, operators continue to offer more HD programing services, advanced set-top boxes and innovative services to boost pay-TV ARPU.

ABI Research anticipates that the worldwide pay-TV subscriber base will reach 1.1 billion subscribers in 2019. 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,” added Khin Sandi Lynn, industry analyst, ABI Research.