Global pay-TV subscription numbers grew by 0.6% in 2021, from 1.02bn to 1.03bn.
The global subscriptions to online video increased from 1.14bn at the end of 2020 to 1.34bn at the end of 2021, a 17.7% increase year-over-year, according to a new report titled Global: Pay TV & Online Video by Omdia.
The report is forecasting a further 10.5% growth in 2022 to take the figure to 1.48bn by year-end. With new services continually entering to market and, crucially, major players still only part of the way through their respective global expansion efforts, this means the market will continue to expand for several years and Omdia’s forecasts show the global total will exceed 2bn in 2027.
Commenting on the finding of the report, Adam Thomas, Senior Principal Analyst in Omdia’s TV & Online Video team, said: “Online video services are continuing to experience impressive growth levels and there is a lot more to come. Disney+ has enjoyed an incredibly successful launch but there are several more attractive territories for it to enter over the next couple of years. And the same goes for Paramount+, Peacock and several others. The prospects for the alliance of HBO Max with Discovery+ also looks exciting. There are numerous reasons to be positive for online video’s prospects over the next few years which are reflected in our forecasts.”
Meanwhile, global pay-TV subscription numbers grew by 0.6% in 2021, from 1.02bn to 1.03bn. With competition from online video intensifying, Omdia expects the pay-TV market to exhibit a slow decline looking ahead and forecasts subscription numbers to drop from the 1.03bn figure to 1bn in 2027, down by 1.9%. And while online video subscription numbers are growing just about everywhere, the scenario for pay-TV differs a great deal from country-to-country. Of the 101 pay-TV markets that Omdia tracks in most detail, the outcomes show significant fluctuations, with 55 countries still reporting subscription growth, 41 reporting decline and five essentially static. Over the next five years, Omdia expects those contrasting fortunes to continue, with countries like Indonesia continuing to post solid increases, while others – most notably the US – seeing an ongoing decline.
Thomas added: “The one small note of caution I would add is that with pay-TV as a whole plateauing, the TV and video business is becoming increasingly reliant on growth from online video. But with that business having been built on high content investment aligned with low subscription prices, a price-sensitive public has come to expect a lot of bang for their buck. The content costs versus pricing balancing act is a tricky one to navigate and we’ve already heard from Netflix that it expects to lose 2m customers in this quarter. It is quite clear that constant growth for online video is by no means guaranteed.”