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Emerging markets and IPTV continuing to drive pay TV growth

Despite cord cutting in advanced markets, pay TV is continuing to grow overall, driven by emerging markets and IPTV, according to Digital TV Research.

Digital TV Research estimates that pay TV subscriptions increased by 16 million to 1,028 million in 2019 across 138 countries. The growth is in emerging markets.

According to the research outfit, there were 1.028 billion pay TV subscribers globally at the end of last year, up from 1.012 billion in 2018 and up from 717 million in 2010.

IPTV numbers grew from 582 million in 2018 to 307 million at the end of last year.

Digital cable numbers by contrast were stagnant, declining from 447 million to 446 million. Pay satellite numbers declined while free-to-air satellite and digital-terrestrial offerings increased their base.

Excluding analogue cable TV, digital pay TV has been significant over the last decade, rocketing from 380 million subscribers in 2010 to 991 million at end-2019.

Simon Murray, Principal Analyst at Digital TV Research, said: “IPTV is the pay TV winner. IPTV added 49 million subscribers in 2019 to take its total to 307 million. Pay satellite TV fell by six million subscribers in 2019. Digital cable TV lost 1 million subs, and analogue cable TV shed 25 million subs.”