Digital TV Research: Triple-Play Subscriptions to Quadruple by 2016

  • Broadband Penetration
MIDDLESEX, UK - More than a quarter of the world’s TV households will subscribe to triple-play services - TV, broadband and telephony - by 2016, according to a new report by British research firm Digital TV Research. The report, which covers 73 countries, estimates that only 7.1 percent of TV households subscribed to triple-play services at the end of 2010.

Report author Simon Murray says, “The 2016 triple-play penetration doesn’t sound too impressive until you realize that this represents 387 million homes, up from 96 million at end 2010.”
Growth in double-play and triple-play subscriptions

Furthermore, there will be 80 million subscribers to double-play bundles of TV and broadband by 2016, up from 32 million at year-end 2010. Global double-play penetration will reach 5.4 percent by the end of 2016, up from 2.3 percent at the end of 2010. China, with 30 million subscribers, will be the largest double-play market in 2016, followed by the U.S. with 13 million and India with 12 million. These three countries will represent 69 percent of global double-play subscribers.

There will be twice as many triple-play cable subscribers (258 million) than DSL/fiber subscribers (129 million) by 2016 – and four times as many double-play cable subscribers than double-play DSL subscribers.

Murray adds, “Rivalry for pay-TV and broadband subscribers has never been so fierce – and it’s going to get even more competitive. Operators are pushing their bundled packages hard to attract new subscribers and to retain existing ones." He explains that operators compete not only with each other but also with digital terrestrial TV (whose channel choice often nearly replicates basic pay-TV offerings) and with over-the-top, or Internet-delivered, video. Satellite TV providers, too, are offering DVRs, high-definition and 3D to differentiate themselves from their fixed-line counterparts.

The effect of this competition, Murray says, is downward pressure on the price of bundles. Thus, even though operators' average revenue per user may rise, revenues from component services may fall. In turn, operators will reduce TV channel choice, sometimes to just what is offered on digital terrestrial TV, and will be more reluctant to pay carriage fees for basic channels - which will impact the channels' revenue streams.

Triple-play penetration will be higher in North America than in any other region, reaching 46 percent by 2016, though growth will flatten after 2014. In individual countries, however, penetration rates may be much higher - Belgium is expected to lead with 67 percent, followed by Hong Kong with 60 percent. Singapore will be the dual-play leader with 21 percent.

Triple-play revenues will reach $170 billion by 2016, nearly $100 billion higher than in 2010. The U.S. will account for $39 billion of the increase in revenues, with Japan up by $9 billion and China increasing by $8 billion, or 9 times its 2010 total. The U.S. will account for half the world’s triple-play and double-play revenues by 2016.

Global double-play revenues will reach $26 billion in 2016, up by $10 billion over the 2010 total.


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