The global pay-TV market added nearly 47 million subscribers in 2012 reaching a total of 864 million subscribers. “The growth in satellite, cable, and IPTV markets was strong, although digital terrestrial TV growth was flat in 2012. ABI Research expects that the pay-TV market will continue to grow in 2013 to reach 907 million subscribers,” said Jake Saunders, VP and practice director of core forecasting.
Worldwide IPTV subscriber base has been increasing rapidly over the past few years. In 2013, the worldwide IPTV subscriber base is expected to add over 9 million subscribers to reach 79.3 million. More than half of the net addition will be from Asia-Pacific; China alone is expected to add more than 3 million subscribers.
The cable TV market will remain strong, especially due to the growth in Asian Pacific markets such as China and India. Cable TV will maintain the largest market share of the overall pay-TV market in 2013. However, rapidly growing IPTV will cause cable’s market share to decline to 65.4 per cent in 2013 from 66.2 per cent in 2012.
At present, 33 per cent of worldwide pay-TV subscribers are using High Definition (HD) TV services. HDTV penetration is the highest in North America followed by Western Europe; accounting for 84 per cent and 76 per cent of total pay-TV subscriptions respectively. As many of the countries in different regions are trying to switch over to digital transmission, the number of HD channels and packages offered by the operators increase. “Worldwide HD service adoption is expected to grow. ABI Research forecasts that 38 per cent of global pay-TV subscribers will be subscribing to HDTV services in 2013,” noted Khin Sandi Lynn, research analyst.