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Pay TV subs break 1 billion barrier

Pay TV subscribers have exceeded 1 billion for the first time. 

According to new findings from Digital TV Research, TV subscribers increased by 26 million in 2018 across 138 countries.

Satellite TV and pay DTT grew by 2 million and 1 million subscribers respectively in 2018. 

Digital cable TV added 7 million subs, but analog cable TV shed 16 million subs – meaning a net loss for cable.  

Cable TV accounted for half of all pay TV subscribers in 2018; down from three-quarters in 2010. IPTV increased its share of pay TV subscribers to a quarter in 2018. Satellite TV generated 22% of pay TV subscribers in 2018. 

Global pay TV revenues peaked in 2016 at US$205 billion. Revenues fell to US$199 billion in 2018. 

Simon Murray, principal analyst at Digital TV Research, said: “IPTV added 42 million subscribers in 2018 alone to take its total to 257 million. IPTV overtook pay satellite TV in 2018.” 

While this is positive, a recent report from Roku claims that streaming viewers could overtake pay TV by 2023. Market data cited by the company suggests that 2 million Americans have abandoned Pay TV in 2019, following 3.5 million cord-cutters in 2018.