4K pay TV services tipped to reach 46 million subscribers by 2018

Sony 4K world cupMore than 46 million households worldwide will subscribe to a 4K, ultra high definition pay TV service by 2018, according to new research by Parks Associates.

The research firm predicts that pay TV providers will deploy 4K services as “a differentiator”, particularly among younger consumers who are more likely to use newer pay TV features like TV Everywhere and cloud DVR.

Parks said that currently in the US, 82% of consumers aged 18 to 22 have a pay TV subscription, compared to 87% among older consumers, and that young people also have “slightly lower” subscription rates for pay TVs.

“To enjoy the true benefits of 4K, three things need to be present: the television, the content, and a way to get the content to the TV,” said Parks Associates’ director of research, Brett Sappington.

“4K can deliver an enhanced experience to viewers, but these three factors are not yet aligned. Getting 4K content to the TV remains a key challenge as is the pace of production of 4K content.”

In March, Parks Associates predicted that Ultra HD TVs will be found in 80% of US households in approximately 10 to 12 years.

Separately, new Parks research into connected devices found that 55% of UK broadband households have a set-top box, compared to 36% in Spain and 20% in Germany.

The penetration of internet-connected consumer electronics devices in general in Spain was found to be 69%, compared to 67% in the UK and 54% in Germany.