German HDTV platform HD+ had 2.11 million customers on December 31, 2016 – 15% more than one year ago (31.12.2015: 1.84 million customers).
The subscription service distributing the HD versions of commercial ad-supported TV channels on Astra (19.2° East) to DTH households in Germany, has thereby exceeded the 2 million customer mark for the first time.
The growth by 271,062 customers between January and December 2016 is 45% higher than the previous year’s growth. In addition to the paying customers, around 850,000 households are currently in the free-of-charge trial period. In total, thus, almost 3 million housholds currently use HD+.
“2016 has been an extraordinarily successful year for HD+”, Wilfried Urner, CEO of HD Plus, said in Munich. “More than 2 million paying customers and the strong growth show that enhanced picture quality increases the TV experience. A growing number of people is prepared to pay for this additional quality.”
In the overall picture, the share of HD+ customers remains low, though. According to the Astra TV Monitor 2015, there were 11 million HD satellite households at the end of 2015 in Germany. In relation to the 1.84 million HD+ customers, this means that just 16.7% have opted to pay for reception of the commercial TV channels in HD resolution.
More than 80% of DTH households still prefer the free-of-charge, unencrypted versions of RTL, Sat.1, ProSieben and other channels in standard definition (SD).
When the commercial channels will start charging a reception fee from DTT viewers as part of the transition from DVB-T to DVB-T2 from July 1, 2017, former DVB-T households could decide to move to DTH as the commercial channels remain available free-of charge on Astra in SD resolution. The next figures will show whether HD+ succeeds in converting SD viewers to HD customers.