“Emerging markets are key drivers of global growth in pay-TV subscribers as developed markets are experiencing flat growth rates,” said Jake Saunders, VP and practice director.
PayTV subscriber base in Western Europe grew less than 2 percent in 3Q 2013 from 3Q 2012. Notably, the number of subscribers in Spain and Italy has been declining for a number of consecutive quarters. Respectively, pay-TV service providers in Spain and Italy lost over 7 percent and 2 percent of their total subscriber base compared to a year ago. Operators blame the weak economic environment for declining subscriber counts.
However, it is not all doom and gloom in Europe as other markets, such as France, Germany and UK, contributed to regional market growth. Net additions in IPTV subscribers are the prime driver of payTV regional growth; other payTV platforms saw only marginal increases. ABI Research estimates the IPTV subscriber base in Western Europe increased 1.9 million in 3Q 2013 from 3Q 2012.
In North America, payTV subscribers dropped slightly (<1 percent) from 3Q 2012, mainly due to contracting subscriber counts in the cable TV sector. It is estimated that Cable TV operators in North America lost around 1.7 million subscribers in the last year. In terms of payTV service revenue, North America grew nearly 3 percent from 3Q 2012.
“Despite the declining subscriber base, pay-TV service revenue in North America grew due to increased average revenue per user which is driven by an increasing proportion of HD and advanced DVR subscribers,” said Khin Sandi Lynn, Industry Analyst.
ABI Research forecasts the global payTV subscriber base will eclipse 1 billion by 2018, generating service revenue of US$ 229.6 billion. BRIC countries will account for 68 percent of total net additional subscribers by 2018.
ABI Research’s new “Pay TV ARPU and Revenues” Market Data is updated quarterly and profiles global pay-TV subscription information. Detailed market trends and market forecast information for key regions and countries around the world are provided where available. The study is a part of the company’s Pay TV Research Service.