Global forecasts for pay TV, OTT

June 4, 2019
Digital TV Research has issued forecasts for the global pay TV and over-the-top (OTT) subscription video on demand (SVOD) markets through 2024. Continuing ...

Digital TV Research has issued forecasts for the global pay TV and over-the-top (OTT) subscription video on demand (SVOD) markets through 2024. Continuing years-long trends, pay TV is expected to decline as OTT grows.

Pay TV revenues (subscription fees and PPV movies and TV episodes) for 138 countries peaked in 2016 at $205 billion. Revenues are expected to fall by 14% to $177 billion in 2024. This is the same level as 2010 - despite the number of pay TV subscribers climbing by 380 million between 2010 and 2024.

Eight of the top 10 countries are expected to lose revenues between 2018 and 2024. The United States is expected to fall by $21 billion, down by 22%. U.S. pay TV revenues peaked in 2015, at $106 billion, but its total is expected to drop to $76 billion in 2024. The United States is not the only loser; the UK is expected to fall by nearly $1 billion between 2018 and 2024, down by 14%.

On a positive note, India is expected to gain $1 billion in pay TV revenues between 2018 and 2024 to take its total to $6.32 billion, up by nearly 20%. India is expected to move up from sixth to third place over the forecast period. The second biggest winner is expected to be Indonesia, with a $786 million gain.

Revenues are expected to decline in 51 countries between 2018 and 2024. The top five countries are expected to account for 59% ($105 billion) of global pay TV revenues by 2024. The next 15 countries are expected to comprise a further 23% ($40 billion). The top 20 countries are expected to constitute 82% of pay TV revenues by 2024.

In the OTT space, the global number of gross SVOD subscriptions is expected to increase by 439 million between 2018 and 2024 to 947 million, up 86%. The total is expected to climb by 119 million in 2019 alone.

As the gross subscription total nears 1 billion, the net subscriber count is expected to rise by 175 million between 2018 and 2024 to reach 531 million. The average SVOD subscriber is expected to pay for 1.78 SVOD subscriptions by 2024, up from 1.43 in 2018.

Simon Murray, principal analyst at Digital TV Research, said: "China overtook the U.S. in 2018 to become the gross SVOD subscription leader. These two countries will continue to dominate the world stage. China and the U.S. will together account for 59% of the global total by 2024. However, this proportion is down from 63% in 2018; indicating that other countries are growing faster."

Fifteen countries are expected to have more than 10 million SVOD subscriptions by 2024, collectively comprising 86% of the global total.

By 2024, Netflix is expected to contribute 203 million subscribers (21% of the global total), Amazon Prime Video 125 million (13%), China 289 million (31%; neither Netflix nor Amazon Prime Video operate in China), Disney+ 75 million and 255 million "others."        

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