Tuesday, 30 July 2019 09:39

Pay-TV penetration in APAC region set for decline: report

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Pay-TV penetration in the Asia Pacific region is set to decline marginally in the next five years, with the practise of cord cutting with television viewers in developed markets cancelling their subscriptions to multichannel subscription television services, offsetting gains in Direct-to-Home (DTH) and Internet Protocol television (IPTV) in emerging APAC markets - and with a forecast decline in the Australian market from 3.7 million to 3.6 million pay-TV accounts.

A new report from analytics firm GlobalData reveals that overall the South and South East Asia region is forecast to witness a marginal decline in pay-TV household penetration from 67.4% in 2018 to 67.0% by the end of 2023.

GlobalData’s report - ‘Pay-TV Market Trends and Opportunities in Asia Pacific – 2019’ - reveals that China and India are currently the largest pay-TV markets in the region with 415.6 million and 177.2 million subscriptions, respectively as of year-end 2018, distantly followed by South Korea with 33.2 million subscriptions.

During the forecast period, developed markets such as Hong Kong and Australia are set to witness a decline in pay-TV penetration levels primarily due to cord-cutting and the popularity of over-the-top (OTT) video streaming platforms in these markets.

“The APAC pay-TV market is very diverse, with household penetration levels ranging from 11% in Indonesia to 168% in South Korea as of year-end 2018,” says Malcolm Rogers, Telecom Analyst at GlobalData.

“Currently, the market is facing growing price pressure. Most OTT players offer their services at a lower price point than traditional pay-TV packages. The effect is an increasing number of consumers only willing to pay for the content they know they will watch. In response, pay-TV providers are offering more modular packages to better match consumer preferences for content and price.

“For example Taiwan’s Chunghwa Telecom offers its Multimedia On Demand (MOD) service in a menu style selection manner with variable pricing per channel from US$0.16 (NT$5) to US$4.98 (NT$150), based on the cost from the content provider. This enables Chunghwa to target price sensitive customers and better compete with lower cost OTT options,” Rogers said.

The GlobalData report also notes that an increasing number of video content consumers in the region prefer services that offer “watch anywhere capability”.

While the home TV is still an important device, customers also demand the same experience across mobile handsets, laptops and tablets, which GlobaslData says has resulted in a trend of service convergence between traditional OTT and pay-TV.

“OTT video’s relationship with pay-TV in APAC continues to evolve. Many pay-TV providers in the region have launched or will soon launch their own OTT platforms. Standalone OTT players are also increasingly seeking pay-TV provider partnerships. The pay-TV and OTT platforms are becoming increasingly integrated as customers want a device agnostic viewing experience,” Rogers concluded.


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - an iTWire treasure is a mentor and coach who volunteers also a writer and much valued founding partner of iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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