Analyst: Global pay-TV set for growth

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The increasing adoption of video streaming platforms has created significant challenges to traditional pay-TV services. Yet, despite the challenges, the overall pay-TV market is expected to grow at a steady pace to surpass a 1.1 billion subscriber base in 2024, according to the Pay TV Subscribers market data report from global tech market advisory firm, ABI Research.

Traditional pay-TV services in North America are affected mainly by the competition of video streaming services. Increasing numbers of consumers are switching from pay-TV services to lower-cost video streaming. In the first quarter of 2019, cable, satellite, and IPTV services in the region have lost more than 1.2 million subscribers.

“High-speed broadband penetration, along with the availability of multiple streaming services, is driving the declining pay-TV trend. Increasing broadband penetration is, in fact, accelerating the adoption of online video services across different regions,” notes Khin Sandi Lynn, Industry Analyst at ABI Research.

According to ABI Research’s market data, the fixed broadband market is expected to exceed 1 billion subscribers at the end of 2019 with fibre-optic broadband access representing more than half of the total subscriber base. The impact of OTT on the pay-TV market varies from region to region depending on the price points, content choices, and stability of video delivery across different platforms. Despite the increase in home broadband adoption rates, traditional pay-TV services will remain dominant in emerging markets.

In an attempt to meet the streaming demand, pay-TV operators have introduced live streaming services which provide lower cost compared to traditional pay-TV packages. Deployment of Android-based STBs is another attempt to integrate streaming services with pay-TV services. Although cord-cutting is significant only in mature markets, pay-TV operators in emerging markets are also embracing Android TV STBs to facilitate streaming features to their customers. Airtel and Hathway from India, and Telkom Indonesia are some operators from emerging markets which are deploying Android TV STBs.

“In addition to investment in content and advanced set-top boxes, investment in efficient analytics solutions are important for customer retention. Analytics solutions based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning algorithms can provide comprehensive insights on content consumption, prediction of churn, etcetera, which is valuable for content recommendation, improving user interface, and proposing best-fit packages to customers to prevent or reduce subscriber loss,” concludes Lynn.


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