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More People Pay for TV, but Cable's Share Slips Slightly

Cable still dominates the market, but IPTV’s growth is force to be reckoned with

January 4, 2013 | Media & Entertainment

Global enthusiasm for television means that an increasing number of people are willing to pay to watch. According to ABI Research, an additional 47 million people worldwide signed up for a pay TV package in 2012, bringing the total number of global subscribers to 864 million. In 2013, ABI expects another 43 million to sign up, so that global subscribers will number 907 million by year end.

Pay TV Subscribers Worldwide, 2012 & 2013 (millions)

The primary beneficiary of this increase is cable, which still dominates the pay TV marketplace. But a proliferation of IPTV (internet protocol television) options, and strong growth in the subscriber base, means that cable’s share of the total worldwide pay TV market will actually decline slightly in 2013. ABI projects that IPTV’s global subscriber base will increase by 9 million in 2013 to 70.9 million, with particularly strong growth in Asia: Of those 9 million new IPTV subscribers, 3 million are expected to be added in China alone.

Cable TV Revenue Share Worldwide, 2012 & 2013 (% of total pay TV revenues)

HDTV also gained ground, ABI found. In 2012, 33% of pay TV subscriptions were HDTV, a figure expected to increase to 38% in 2013. Presently HDTV viewership is concentrated in North America and Western Europe, where it accounts for 84% and 76% of pay TV subscriptions, respectively. But as countries in various regions try to make the switch to digital transmission, global opportunities will doubtless emerge.

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Check out today’s other articles, “Worldwide, More Money Goes Mobile” and “Marketing in India: Digital Development Marked by Speed of Change.”



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