Forecast: 586 million OTT subs worldwide by 2024

Jan. 23, 2019
According to Parks Associates, over-the-top (OTT) video services will accelerate their global expansion over the next five years, with more ...

According to Parks Associates, over-the-top (OTT) video services will accelerate their global expansion over the next five years, with more than 310 million connected households having at least one OTT service - some 586 million subscriptions - by 2024. The research house estimates that approximately 200 million households had at least one OTT service at home at the end of 2018.

"The U.S. leads in adoption of subscription OTT services, but other regions are experiencing significant growth as new services expand across borders," said Brett Sappington, Parks' senior research director. "Content producers and OTT service providers want to capture audiences, and revenues, worldwide. As a result, western Europe and other global markets will experience more rapid subscriber growth than North America over the next few years."

Global audiences also represent unique challenges that OTT providers must understand and navigate in order to be successful. Device preferences, for example, vary significantly from country to country. While U.S. households prefer smart TVs or streaming media devices, Canadians more often use game consoles than Americans, and in Asia, smartphones and mobile-only devices are most prevalent. In many nations, connected households have mobile high-speed services only, with no access to fixed services. Other factors, including regulations, business models, viewing habits, and service mix, are also key areas of consideration.

"Ultimately, the success or failure of a service relies on the quality of its content library, but small variations in pricing and user experience can cause significant adoption differences across countries," Sappington said. "For example, HBO has tested its OTT service with pricing tailored to specific regions, with variances from Spain to the Nordic countries to the U.S. This level of experimentation will continue in the near term as service providers and content creators continue to test and tweak to find the right formula for pricing, content, and service quality for each region."

Other findings indicate:

  • Roku is the streaming media device supporting the most OTT services (66% of all available) in the United States.
  • Nearly two-thirds of OTT services available in the United States are available in at least one additional market.
  • Bollywood's T-Series YouTube channel has 74 million subscribers.
  • 70% of broadband households in the United States, 64% in Canada, and 52% in the UK have at least one OTT service.

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