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Futuresource: set-top shipments to grow 1% in 2019 

Shipments of set-top boxes (STBs) and media streamers are expected to grow 1% globally in 2019 following a period of “market stagnation,” according to Futuresource Consulting.

The research firm said that the global media box market is on track to exceed 350 million units this year, driven predominantly by media streamers with “a little help” from the free-to-air STB segment.

Declining shipments in the pay TV STB segment, due to cord cutting, are expected to be largely offset buy a rise in free-to-air STB shipments, resulting in a relatively flat market.

However, media streamer shipments are forecast to grow 8% this year to reach 57 million units, with North America to account for more than one in every three of those shipments.

Across the market as a whole, declines in North America are expected to be counterbalanced by growth in Latin America and most of Asia. For the period 2019-2023 Futuresource forecasts worldwide STB shipments will increase at a 1% compound annual growth rate (CAGR).

“While satellite pay TV STB volumes will remain flat during the forecast period and digital cable boxes will see a CAGR decline of 2%, we expect IPTV to grow from 56 million shipments in 2019 to 67 million in 2023, representing a CAGR of 5%, as internet infrastructures improve,” said Matthew Rubin, senior market analyst at Futuresource Consulting.

“Consumer appetite for SVOD services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video continues to feed demand for media streamers, and the public’s interest shows no signs of waning. Hardware is dominated by the likes of Amazon, Google, Roku and Apple, who are all enjoying a plentiful wave of growth.”

“Most mainstream pay TV operators won’t fully commit to existing media streaming devices, as, despite them being cheaper to adopt for the business, they lose control over the user interface and the ability to retain customers within their own content garden. Along with the brand erosion, there’s also the potential for diluting and impairing the user experience, something that many of the major players will not want to stake their reputations on.”