The worldwide pay-TV market is expected to surpass 920 million subscribers by the end of 2014, according to ABI Research.
Overall, pay-TV average revenue per user (ARPU) is expected to drop slightly due to increasing price competition, but at a lower rate compared to the ARPU drop in 2013.
“The growing number of HD subscribers as well as major sporting events such as the World Cup 2014 have contributed to improving ARPU. As a result, the total pay-TV market is expected to generate over $US269 billion by the end of 2014,” commented Jake Saunders, VP and Practice Director of Core Forecasting.
Notably, United States’ satellite TV operator DirecTV added 543,000 subscribers in 2Q 2014 in Latin America. It was a sharp increase compared to subscriber net additions of 165,000 in the same quarter of 2013. ARPU in local currency also increased 8% from 2Q 2013.
Subscriber growth in Latin America was mainly driven by the World Cup 2014 matches although DirecTV did not benefit from the event as it lost around 39,000 subscribers in the United States.
“ABI Research anticipates that the worldwide pay-TV subscriber base will grow to nearly 1.1 billion subscribers generating $US323 billion by 2019,” added Khin Sandi Lynn, industry analyst.
The IPTV market share grew over 1% point in 2Q 2014 compared to 2Q 2013. Competition in the global pay-TV market is growing with the rapid evolution of IPTV and online video services.
In Japan, satellite TV operator Sky Perfect lost over 200,000 subscribers over the past year due to increasing competition from alternative pay-TV platforms. To counter churn and maintain service revenue, Sky Perfect has developed VOD services which allows customers to access video content from multiple devices including smartphones, tablets, etc. Sky Perfect encouraged 126,000 of its customers to subscribe to VOD services at the end of 1Q 2014.
Multi-screen services are helping pay-TV operators to reduce churn and boost revenue.