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Global pay TV market tops 924.4m subscribers

satelliteThe global pay TV market is estimated to have passed 924.4 million subscribers in 2014, driven by market-leading growth in IPTV, according to ABI Research. 

The new stats claim that worldwide pay TV subscriber numbers grew by 5% in 2014, with 14% growth in IPTV and 7% growth in satellite TV.

“The growth rates of cable and terrestrial TV platforms are expected to slow to around 3%,” said Jake Saunders, VP and practice director of core forecasting at ABI Research.

Growth in the cable TV market is said to have been driven by the Asia-Pacific and Latin American markets, which were estimated to have added a combined 13 million subscribers last year. However, ABI claims there was a 1% decline in North American cable subscribers.

“[In the] third quarter [of] 2014, major cable TV operators in North America lost over 400,000 TV customers, although cable companies are doing well in broadband,” said ABI.

The research claims that bundled packages will help pay TV operators to reduce churn, while HD channels, advanced PVR services and premium content such as sport will contribute to increased ARPU. ABI predicts that 57% of total pay TV subscribers will be HD subscribers by 2019.

However, the research also noted that video streaming services like Netflix and TiVo are attractive alternatives for pay TV customers.

“Traditional pay TV operators are now trying to compete with these services by developing their own video streaming products or by integrating these services in their existing services. Online video service Netflix has agreed to deals with some of the pay TV operators in Europe to offer its streaming service to European broadband customers,” said ABI.