In addition to the growth of satellite units, cable shipments are also expected to increase modestly in 2016, while demand for DTT and IP STBs remains relatively flat.
Although unit volumes are expected to increase in 2016, STB revenues are again trending lower. High-volume set-tops are continuing to experience declining ASPs, primarily due to production efficiencies and decreasing component prices. At year-end 2016, we are projecting global STB revenues to be $16.4 billion, an annual decrease of 6%.
Demand for STBs is projected to rise slightly over the next year, with unit shipments reaching 275 million in 2017. Beginning in 2018, unit shipments are forecasted to begin slipping due to slowing growth in pay TV households and the increasing use of alternative devices including smart TVs and streaming media devices.
While SNL Kagan is projecting total STB unit shipments to decrease further in 2018 and 2019, the company also acknowledges that demand for STB products will remain robust for the next several years. In fact, global shipments are still forecasted to exceed 261 million in 2020.
Meanwhile on the STB vendor market share front, market shares of the leading STB manufacturers experienced significant changes in 2015. According to company reports and SNL Kagan estimates, Huawei now owns the title of the world’s largest STB manufacturer, replacing Technicolor which finished in the top spot the year before.
Huawei shipped an estimated 26 million units last year, outpacing Skyworth by a million units. Technicolor finished third in total market share after seeing demand for its satellite boxes decline slightly during 2015.
Arris finished fourth after experiencing a 13% drop in estimated annual shipments, a decline that was mostly due to softening demand in North America for lower-end cable boxes. Pace, Changhong and Yinhe rounded out the top seven manufacturers.