Report: Global Pay-TV, SVOD Subs to Reach 1.87 Billion by 2023

Consumers continue to covet video entertainment in record numbers.

New data from Digital TV Research projects 1.877 billion combined global pay-TV, subscription streaming video subscribers by 2023 – up 505 million (37%) subs from 1.372 billion at the end of 2017. SVOD subs will more than double, but traditional pay-TV will add just 94 million subs.

“China is the brightest star by adding 171 million subscriptions during this period to take its total to 610 million,” Simon Murray, analyst at Digital TV Research, said in a statement.

Murray said China would expand pay-TV subs by 32 million to 375 million, but SVOD will skyrocket by 138 million to 235 million subs. India will add 49 million pay TV and SVOD subs to total 210 million in 2023.

In the United States, traditional pay-TV subs will fall by 10 million to 80 million. Multiple subscriptions per household will push the SVOD total from 132 million to 208 million. Combined pay-TV/SVOD subs will reach 289 million, up from 222 million at the end of 2017.

Overall, subscription revenue will increase by 11% ($25.2 billion) to $251 billion between 2017 and 2023. Traditional pay-TV revenue will drop by $18.5 billion to $183 billion. However, SVOD revenue will climb by $43.7 billion to $69 billion. SVOD’s share of the total will increase from 11% in 2017 to 27% in 2023.

The U.S. will remain the subscription revenue leader despite its total falling from $108 billion in 2017 to $105 billion in 2023. Pay-TV subscription revenue will drop by $20 billion, with SVOD additions not enough to make up the shortfall.

Digital TV Research said the figures are gross subscriptions. One household could have more than one subscription. For example, a household subscribing to pay satellite TV and Netflix would be counted as two subscriptions. Some homes pay for more than one SVOD platform.

 

California Inks Net Neutrality Bill; Trump Administration Sues

California Gov. Jerry Brown Sept. 30 signed legislation that returns key provisions of net neutrality law enacted by the Federal Communications Commission under President Obama.

Brown approved SB822 — dubbed the California Internet Consumer Protection and Net Neutrality Act of 2018 — prohibiting fixed and mobile Internet service providers (ISPs) from engaging in actions concerning the treatment of Internet traffic.

The law prevents ISPs (including Comcast, AT&T and Verizon) from blocking lawful content, applications, services, or nonharmful devices, impairing (i.e. throttling) or degrading lawful Internet traffic on the basis of content, application, service or use of specified practices known as “zero-rating,” which enable users to consume select content without impacting their monthly data caps.

It also denies ISPs from offering or providing services other than broadband Internet access service that are delivered over the same last-mile connection into consumer homes, if those services have the purpose or effect of evading the above-described prohibitions or negatively affect the performance of broadband Internet access service.

The Trump Administration responded with the Department of Justice filing a federal lawsuit claiming the state law violates provisions of the FCC’s rolled back net neutrality guidelines enacted under new chairman Ajit Pai.

“Under the Constitution, states do not regulate interstate commerce — the federal government does,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement. “Once again, the California legislature has enacted an extreme and state law attempting to frustrate federal policy.”

Pai, who was appointed to the FCC by Obama, and promoted to chairman position by President Trump, has long argued previous net neutrality provisions represented government overreach on private enterprise and thwarted capital investment.

The revamped FCC last December voted to reclassify ISPs as “information service providers.” That action — restoring lighter regulatory oversight — overturned the prior FCC’s 2015 ruling that classified ISPs as common carriers under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934.

“Not only is California’s Internet regulation law illegal, it also hurts consumers,” Pai said, citing “zero rating” data plans he said enable low-income consumers to stream video and music.

“They have proven enormously popular in the marketplace,” Pai said.

Eddie Kurtz, with Courage Campaign, a civil liberties group, applauded the signing of SB822.

“Governor Jerry Brown did the right thing by choosing to institute the strongest net neutrality rules in the country, sending a clear signal to Californians that guaranteeing access to the internet for all, helping California communities — particularly low-income communities — and  boosting small businesses is a priority for our state,” said Kurtz.