Following a year of solid 8% growth, the worldwide pay-TV subscriber market has reached 804 million worldwide pay-TV subscriber households.
According to research by MRG, the global pay-TV subscriber base, which is made up of cable TV, satellite TV, and telco-based IPTV subscribers, is growing most rapidly in the Asia-Pacific region. Last year, over 38 million new households in Asia signed up for pay-TV service. Overall, on a worldwide basis two out of every three new pay-TV households in 2012 were in the Asia-Pacific region.
Meanwhile, the more mature pay-TV markets are hardly growing at all. In North America, pay-TV subscriber households stayed flat during 2012, ending the year pretty much where they began with 112 million subscriber households. There was a similar story in Western Europe, where total pay-TV subscriber households increased by just under 3% last year.
The chart below further illustrates the growth of worldwide pay-TV subscriber households from 2010 – 2012.
In the cable TV industry, the majority of global subscriber growth occurred in the Asia, led specifically by China, India and Vietnam. Other regions, especially North America and Western Europe, are experiencing little or no growth in cable TV households. Overall, global cable TV subscriber households grew modestly in 2012 to just over 520 million.
Global satellite TV service subscribers grew solidly in 2012, as demand for pay-TV satellite TV services in countries like Russia and India spiked. Total pay-TV satellite households now exceed 202 million, an annual growth rate of 12%.
Demand for IPTV services picked up significantly in 2012, as subscribers increased by a healthy 36%. Subscriber growth was strong in all geographic regions, and worldwide IPTV households now total more than 77 million.
Some other highlights from MRG’s report about the global pay-TV subscriber market include: 56% of the world’s 1.43 billion TV households now subscribe to a pay-TV service.
In terms of the specific pay-TV service platforms, IPTV subscriber households grew the most in 2012, rising by over 30%. Total satellite TV households grew by just over 10% last year.
Cable TV subscribers still account for the largest segment of the pay-TV subscriber universe. At the end of 21012, 63% of all global pay-TV subscriber households were cable TV households.
“Even with the ongoing debate about the value of pay-TV services versus the cost of pay-TV services, one thing remains clear: Consumers around the world love to watch TV, and they remain both ready and willing to pay for it,” according to MRG
“Despite the threats of “cord cutting” or alternative TV distribution technologies, we expect pay-TV service providers will, for the foreseeable future, continue to be the leading players in the delivery of TV services to the home.
“Looking out over the next few years, we expect to see sustained growth in demand for pay-TV services. In fact, by 2017, we are projecting worldwide pay-TV subscriber households to pass the 1 billion mark. Most of this growth will likely be driven by the increasing availability of satellite TV and IPTV services, especially in the Asia-Pacific region.”