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Global pay TV penetration now 48%

Global pay TV penetration reached 48% in the first quarter of the year, with more than 900 million subscribers signed up to these services, according to ABI Research.

The new figures claim that total pay TV penetration will exceed 50% – or one billion subscribers – by 2017 and will grow steadily over the next five years, driven mainly by emerging markets.

“[The] worldwide pay TV market is expected to reach 1.1 billion subscribers, generating US$307.5 billion in service revenue by 2020,” said ABI analyst, Khin Sandi Lynn.

“The Asia Pacific pay TV market is likely to grow faster than most other regions in the years to come. ABI Research forecasts that pay TV market in Asia Pacific is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5%, generating US$79.4 billion in 2020.”

ABI said that as pay TV providers face increasing competition from over-the-top) services like Netflix and other alternative platforms, average revenue per user “continues to decline across the various platforms in many markets.”

However, many pay TV operators have added OTT, multi-screen and on-demand services to their offerings in order to compete with OTT players, contributing more revenue and customer loyalty, according to ABI.

“Competition is higher in more mature markets such as North America and Western Europe where pay TV penetration is as high as 60% to 80% of households. A slower growth rate is expected to occur in such markets in the years to come.”