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Asia Pacific pay TV driving upwards, but ARPU still largely low

UK researcher Informa says that there are 679 million pay TV subscribers in the world now and that Asia Pacific accounts for 362 million of them some


Published: 7 July, 2011


UK researcher Informa says that there are 679 million pay TV subscribers in the world now and that Asia Pacific accounts for 362 million of them some 53% and this is rising. AsiaPac will become 56% of the total come 2016, and it will reach 481 million pay TV subscribers.

Revenues by 2016 for Pay TV will reach $47 billion Informa says and in AsiaPac the usual suspects of regional giants China and India will be strong, but other markets will also begin to show in Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia

Here at Rethink we haven’t yet done an AsiaPac pay TV projection, but one thing we have noticed is that ARPU in some of these countries remains exceptionally low. This Informa report confirms that, with Japan, hardly growing in pay TV numbers and yet top of the heap in revenue terms. Japan accounts for 29% of the region’s pay TV revenues today. However china will catch this up during the forecast period of this report, with it taking a 27.5% revenue share, overtaking Japan’s 26.3% revenue share in 2016

AsiaPac will have 802 million TV households by 2016, an increase of more than 97 million compared to 2010. TV households have an average 1.15 TV sets per home, leading to well over 1.1 billion sets across the region by 2016. Of the 802 million total, 45% will subscribe to cable (both analog and digital), which will put it well clear of the second-placed platform satellite Direct to Home (DTH) which is projected only to have a 12% share, despite massive gains, in particular in India. The region’s big success story of recent years has been this growth of pay DTH services in India. India overtook Japan as the region’s leading DTH market in 2008 and by 2016 will account for 72% of the region’s DTH subscribers. Five Indian DTH operators will add more than 30 million subscribers between them in the forecast period, led by Bharti with a 9.2 million increase.

China’s analog cable is only turning to digital very slowly and the Chinese government has become cautious on some issues, such as DTH roll out, although it is still proactive in converting analog broadcasts to digital. IPTV in China is growing and will make up 49% of the region’s IPTV homes, although lack of compelling content, plus insufficient network capacity, will hold back IPTV from greater growth.


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