The pay-TV segments of Singapore’s telcos are all plagued by piracy and increasing OTT content service providers, such as Netflix and Hulu. OCBC Investment Research reports that the total number of pay-TV subscribers as at end-Q3 2017 fell 4 per cent to 871,000.
StarHub’s pay-TV subscriber base fell 2.1 per cent QoQ to 467,000 subscribers whilst Singtel’s subscriber base remained flat at 404,000. Meanwhile, pay-TV ARPU for both StarHub and Singtel stayed stable QoQ with no change at S$51 and S$41, respectively.
OCBC analyst Eugene Chua said, “We believe the stability of the two telcos’ ARPU is supported by their strategy to focus on retaining higher-value customers.”
However, even if the two telcos manage to keep ARPU stable, revenue will likely be on a downward trend as the subscriber base shrinks over time.
“While both Singtel and StarHub continue to make efforts to manage the contents offered on their Pay TV platforms, we are expecting the downward trend to persist with more subscribers switching to OTT service providers,” Chua added.