Report: India, Korea & China to drive pay-TV growth

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Total Asia Pacific pay-TV industry revenue, comprised of subscription fees and local and regional advertising sales, contracted by 3 per cent in 2020 to reach $53 billion, according to Asia Pacific Pay-TV Distribution, a report published by industry analysts Media Partners Asia (MPA).

MPA forecasts indicate that total pay-TV industry revenues will grow at a CAGR of 3 per cent between 2020-25 to top $60 billion (€50.8bn) by 2025, driven largely by India, China and Korea. Most other markets, including Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore and Thailand will continue to contract though Philippines will expand while Japan and Malaysia will remain relatively flat. Asia Pacific pay-TV subscription fees are projected by MPA to expand at a CAGR of 2 per cent to reach $49 billion by 2025 while advertising is estimated to grow by 4 per cent CAGR to total more than $11 billion by 2025.

The Covid-19 pandemic impacted pay-TV advertising growth across Asia Pacific while the suspension of sports activity hurt subscriber and ARPU growth in H1 2020. The resumption of sports activity in 2H 2020 and early 2021 has helped operators partially recover earlier residential subscriber losses though activity in the commercial & enterprise segment remains soft. Asia Pacific, including China & India, added 23.8 million net new subscribers in 2020. China contributed more than 90 per cent to growth in 2020, driven by the bundled IPTV, OTT and broadband services, led by China Mobile. The total Asia Pacific pay-TV subscriber base grew 3 per cent in 2020 to reach 668 mil., representing 62 per cent penetration of total TV homes, adjusted for multiple subscriptions in a home.

MPA projections indicate that total Asia Pacific pay-TV subs will grow at a CAGR of 1 per cent between 2020-25 to reach more than 715 million by 2025, representing 63 per cent penetration. China, India and the Philippines will lead in terms of contribution to incremental subscriber growth over 2020-25.

MPA executive director Vivek Couto commented: “The IP distribution of video content bundled with broadband services is helping to prolong the shelf life of pay-TV channel bundles while also providing a basis for integration with new OTT video services. This strategy, combined with continued demand for household TV and broadband bundles amongst aging customers, is ensuring that the pay-TV sector remains relatively robust in markets such as China, Korea and Malaysia while retaining scale in countries such as Japan. In large emerging markets such as India and Philippines, strong demand for live sports & entertainment channels on TV fuels the growth of low-ARPU DTH satellite platforms which will remain dominant but increasingly mature.”

“In Southeast Asia, IPTV & broadband bundles have helped Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam stay relatively afloat following the steady erosion of the DTH satellite sector. Subscriber growth will decelerate in large markets such as China, India and Korea with a focus on ARPU growth and driving efficiencies through further consolidation. Cord cutting will continue in highly penetrated online SVoD markets such as Australia, Singapore and New Zealand though churn should stabilise as operators cater to aging customer cohorts with bundles of live sports, local & international entertainment and OTT services through next gen STBs, supported by HD and UHD/4K technology. This trend will also be evident in Hong Kong, Malaysia and Japan,” concluded Couto.


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