Surprised? Hold onto your hats: Deloitte predicts that in 2020, at least 1.6 billion people worldwide, representing 450 million households, will get at least some of their TV from an antenna. And that’s the low end of the estimate: Extrapolations from verified data suggest that number may even be as high as 2 billion. Along with a predicted $32 billion in 2020 revenues from ad-supported video on demand (AVOD),1 antenna TV is helping the global TV industry keep on growing even in the face of falling TV viewing minutes and, in some markets, increasing numbers of consumers cutting the pay-TV cord.
Who’s paying for all that free TV? Advertisers. Deloitte predicts that global TV-ad revenues will grow by more than $4 billion in 2020, reaching $185 billion in 2021 compared to $181 billion in 2019. In terms of magnitude, this market size change is not wildly out of line with general consensus, but the direction we expect it to take is different. While some are anticipating TV ad revenues to fall by $4 billion between 2018 and 2021,2 we think it will grow by about the same amount.
To the best of Deloitte’s knowledge, no one has ever published global data on antenna TV market size. Some data for individual countries exists, and regulators have written about the various shifts from analog terrestrial TV broadcasts to digital (an important topic for reallocating spectrum),4 but there does not appear to be any global study examining how many people view at least some TV using an antenna.
Deloitte’s estimate of 1.6 billion antenna TV viewers in 2020 is based on verified data from 83 countries with a combined population of 6.6 billion people. Of these, Indonesia, India, and Nigeria are expected to have the most antenna TV viewers. If we assume that countries that lacked verified data resemble their neighbours in terms of antenna TV penetration, the estimate of global antenna TV viewership in 2020 rises to a whopping 2 billion. For context, this extrapolated number is roughly 50 percent more than all of the people paying to watch TV over cable, telco-provided internet protocol TV (IPTV), and direct broadcast satellite in 2020 … combined.