400M subscribers will bundle up by 2017, says survey

The bundle is truly the thing, according to information from Digital TV Research, which predicts that worldwide triple play subscriptions will hit 400 million by 2017. To put that in perspective, that's almost 300 million more than the 2011 total and 380 million more than the 2007 total.

Bundles will overtake standalone TV next year and a reverse trend will start after that as "the standalone TV total will begin to decline from 2016 as homes convert to bundles," report author Simon Murray said in a news release.

Not everyone will want every service throughout the 80 countries covered by the report. There will be about 84 million double play subscribers in 2017, according to report statistics.

The 308-page report said there will be about 257 million triple play subscribers in the Asia Pacific region by 2017 (up more than 200 million from 2011) with China hosting about 193 million of them (versus 39 million at the end of 2011).

Overall, Murray said, "61 percent of cable and DSL/fiber TV subscribers will pay for triple play bundles by 2017, up from 38 percent in 2011 and only 21 percent in 2007." The standalone TV proportion "will fall from 63 percent in 2007 and 49 percent by end-2011 to only 27 percent by 2017," he added.

IPTV will continue to grow rapidly but cable will still dominate, with about two-thirds of triple play subscribers in 2017. In what is perhaps an anomaly, the report said that "triple play will remain higher in DSL and fiber homes (81 percent by 2017) than in cable homes (54 percent).

All these bundles will pay off for service providers as revenues will reach $149 billion in 2017. Even without having the most triple play subscribers, the U.S. will dominate revenues with $59 billion followed by Japan ($13 billion), China ($12 billion) and Canada ($10 billion). Triple play revenues overtook standalone TV revenues in 2010 and "standalone TV revenues will start falling from 2014 as subscribers defect to bundles and as cable and DSL/fiber operators offer lower-priced packages due to greater competition from other platforms," the report concludes.

For more:
- see this news release

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