April 12, 2021
India may be the future growth market for U.S. subscription streaming video services, but world’s second most-populous country isn’t abandoning linear pay-TV.
New data from Media Partners Asia suggests consumers in India may love streaming video, but they still love satellite and online TV. The research firm predicts that more than 96% of pay-TV households will be digitalized by 2025, with total subscribers growing from 127 million in 2020 to 134 million by 2025. Advertising and subscription revenue will top $12.3 billion.
MPA projects satellite homes will increase by 10 million to more than 68 million in 2025. Cable’s market share will decline 10% to 46%, while online TV will grow slightly.
“Robust backend systems, the ability to offer consumers flexibility in choosing channel packages, and the exit of leading private channels helped the satellite sector grow,” Mihir Shah, VP at MPA, said in a statement.
The report suggested that until fiber-based broadband availability increases, satellite TV will be the key pay-TV driver. Total pay-TV revenue, including subscription and advertising, declined 10% in 2020 from 2019 to $8.9 billion as the economic downturn post-COVID eroded advertising.
As the pandemic threat declines and new content emerges, including live sports, consumer and economic sentiment will spearhead a sharp recovery in 2021, according to MPA. After a 25% contraction in 2020, pay-TV advertising will grow at 12% through 2025.
“We expect that more consolidation will play out in the broadcasting industry [forcing] incumbent broadcast networks to recalibrate existing channel portfolios,” Shah said. “The economics of less-popular channels and several niche channels are no longer viable. A new and less draconian regulatory framework will help revitalize content creation, while also helping to bolster pricing power for pay-TV platforms.”