Belying the ongoing belief that OTT will conquer all, U.K. firm Digital TV Research believes that the pay TV universe will actually expand and reach 1 billion households by 2018. That's about 228 million more than the 2012 number and about 186 million more than the 814 million the company forecast for 2013.
Of that number, 167 million will subscribe to IPTV services. IPTV providers are predicted to add about 98 million paying subscribers over the next half decade while cable operators will add 250 million and reach 513 million subscribers.
Digital TV Research based its forecast on 97 countries and determined, not surprisingly, that the biggest growth will take place in China, where there will be 318 million pay TV subscribers by the end of 2018. India came in next with 158 million and the U.S. will be third with 107 million households. Combined, the three countries will account for 58 percent of global pay TV households by 2018, the researchers said.
Customers signing up for pay TV services also include those moving from traditional analog television services, a business that's in decline.
"There were still 652 million analog TV households by end-2012. However, this total will fall by 104 million in 2013 alone, with only 127 million remaining by 2018," a press release stated. "Analog penetration of TV households will drop from 45.3 percent at end-2013 to only 8 percent by 2018. There will be 77 million analog terrestrial homes and 49 million analog cable ones by end-2018."
- see this press release
Cord cutting has impact in Canada, but IPTV market share grows 12 percent
Intel willing to pay premium for IPTV content