Disney+ Hotstar Tops Netflix Subs in Asia Pacific Region

Disney+ ended the most-recent fiscal period (ended July 3) with 116 million subscribers, with one-third (38 million) from India. The latter was enough for Disney to surpass Netflix’s 28 million subs in the Asia Pacific region, which includes India.

While Disney+ sub growth has been impressive, it had a huge advantage from the start with the inclusion of the Hotstar streaming service Disney obtained via its $71.3 billion acquisition of 20th Century Fox.

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The Disney+ sub tally includes Disney+ Hotstar, which launched April 3, 2020, in India (as a conversion of the pre-existing Hotstar service); on Sept. 5, 2020, in Indonesia; on June 1, 2021, in Malaysia; and on June 30, 2021, in Thailand.

Disney+ will reach 121 million subscribers by 2026, double its 2021 total, according to new data from Digital TV Research.

The London-based research firm contends Asia Pacific will have 698 million SVOD subscriptions by 2026, up from 502 million at end of the year. China will provide 354 million SVOD subscriptions in 2026 — or half of the region’s total. India will reach 157 million.

“China will remain dominant, although its growth will slow,” analyst Simon Murray said in a statement.

Murray suggests Chinese government crackdowns on video game access to minors and reality programming to adults will slow SVOD growth.

“New online anti-fan regulations that … force SVOD platforms to screen fewer reality shows, will dampen interest in SVOD,” Murray said.

South America Projected to Reach 131 Million SVOD Subs by 2026

Driven by subscription streaming video pioneer Netflix, in addition to Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Apple TV+ and HBO Max, South America is projected to reach 131 SVOD subscribers by 2026, according to new data from Digital TV Research. That compares with 76 million subs by the end of this year.

Brazil will remain the market leader, with 49 million subs by 2026, followed by Mexico with 32 million.

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“Five U.S.-based platforms will account for 91% of the region’s paying SVOD subscriptions [over the next five years],” Simon Murray, principal analyst at Digital TV Research, said in a statement.

Netflix will continue to lead the market, but its market share will fall. Disney+ will have 33 million subs by 2026, with HBO Max boasting another 10 million. The region continues to attract U.S. players. Paramount+ launched in March, followed by Max in June and Disney’s Star+ in August. Discovery+ is also in the region.

U.S. SVOD Subscriptions Projected to Reach 450 Million by 2026

Growth of subscription streaming VOD services continues in the country that introduced the distribution channel: The United States.

New data from Digital TV Research found SVOD subscriptions for movies, linear channels and TV episodes — excluding other platforms such as sports — in the U.S. will climb by 33% from 338 million at the end of 2021 to 450 million by the of 2026.

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About 87% of TV households (106 million) will subscribe to at least one SVOD platform in the next five years. This compares with 82% of TV households (99 million) subscribing to at least one SVOD platform by the end of 2021.

The average SVOD household will pay for 4.26 SVOD platforms by 2026. The average SVOD subscriber will pay for 3.42 SVOD platforms at the end of 2021. Therefore, the average SVOD home will add nearly one paid-for subscription between 2021 and 2026.

“We have substantially revised our forecasts to reflect recent market developments,” Simon Murray, principal analyst at Digital TV Research, said in a statement. “For instance, we have markedly increased our subscriber numbers for Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max and the other [platforms].”

Report: Global SVOD Subscriptions to Reach 1.5 Billion by 2026

Spurred in part by a pandemic, global streaming video subscriptions are projected to reach 1.5 billion through 2026, according to new data from Digital TV Research. The London-based firm attributed the rise in part to 201 million SVOD subscriptions added in 2020 when increasing numbers of consumers worldwide were quarantined in their homes due to COVID-19. In addition, the report finds that the average consumer will pay for 2.14 SVOD subscriptions by 2026 — up from 1.74 subscriptions in 2020.

“There will be 700 million SVOD subscribers by 2026; up by 35% from 518 million at end of 2020,” analyst Simon Murray said in a statement. “The 2026 total represents 39% of TV households, increasing from 30% in 2020.”

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Overall, Digital TV Research contends that SVOD membership across 138 countries will increase by 591 million through 2026 to reach 1.495 million, up 65% from 2020.

The report suggests China and the U.S. will combine for 48% of global SVOD subs by 2026, down from 59% in 2020 — with the U.S. usurping China as the main SVOD subscription country. Yet with the U.S. a maturing SVOD market, subscriber growth in other countries is skyrocketing. India will nearly triple subscriptions through 2026 to 155 million, accounting for 10% of the global total.

Report: Global Pay-TV Market to Add 15 Million Subs Through 2026

Pay-TV isn’t dead. Despite living in an over-the-top video ecosystem, new data from Digital TV Research projects the addition of 15 million pay-TV subscribers between 2020 and 2026, bringing the global subscriber base to 1.02 billion. Through 2026, 92 countries will add pay-TV subs and 46 countries will lose subscribers.

China and India together will continue to provide just under half the world’s pay-TV subs. China will lose 10 million subs who see OTT video platforms as more appealing than traditional pay-TV. However, India will add 21 million pay-TV subs. The U.S. will be the biggest pay-TV loser — down by 16 million subs through 2026.

Online TV platforms will add 63 million subs through 2026 to take its total to 378 million. There will be 412 million cable subs (both analog and digital) by 2026 — 46 million fewer than the 458 million subs recorded in 2020. Satellite TV will lose 8 million subs to total 203 million. Pay-DTT (digital terrestrial television) will grow by 6 million subs to reach 25 million. Many of the DTT subs will be in Africa.

Report: Western Europe SVOD Subscriptions to Reach 234 Million by 2026

The pending arrival of HBO Max, combined with Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+, will greatly affect subscription streaming video in Western Europe, according to new data from Digital TV Research. The region featuring Germany, the U.K., France, Portugal, Ireland, Holland, Spain, Italy, Luxemburg, Monaco, Lichtenstein, Belgium and Austria will have 234 million SVOD subs by 2026, up from 137 million subs at the end of 2020.

Despite losing market share, Netflix will remain the largest SVOD platform. Netflix will have 74 million paying European subs by 2026 — up by 20 million from 2020. Disney+ will become the second-largest platform by 2025, surpassing Amazon Prime Video. Now available in most Western European countries, Disney+ will have 55 million paying subs by 2026; up by 36 million on 2020.

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HBO Max will launch in the six countries where it already has operations — the Nordic countries, Portugal and Spain — before the end 2021. However, Max will not start in some key European countries due to existing exclusive contracts. For example, HBO’s contract with Sky in Austria, Germany, Ireland, Italy and the U.K. lasts until 2025.

“If Max started across the region’s 18 countries in 2021, we estimate that it would amass 10 million subs by 2026. This will not happen, so its total will be 3.3 million across six countries by 2026,” analyst Simon Murray said in a statement.

Report: Disney+, HBO Max to Drive Eastern Europe SVOD Growth

The pending international launch of HBO Max and further expansion of Disney+ will contribute to Eastern Europe’s SVOD sector finally taking off in relation to long established market pushes in Western European territories as the U.K., France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the Nordics.

Digital TV Research forecasts 40 million SVOD subscriptions in Eastern Europe by 2026, up from 15 million at the end of 2020. From the 25 million additional subscriptions, Russia will generate 10 million and Poland 6 million.

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Netflix will have 12.29 million subscribers by 2026, more than double its 2020 total. Its Russian subscriber base will grow significantly due to its recently-signed partnership with National Media Group. Disney+ will have 5.8 million subs by 2026 despite only starting in mid-2021.

WarnerMedia will launch HBO Max in 2H21. Digital TV Research forecasts 1.22 million paying subs by 2026, with many more continuing to receive HBO online as part of their pay-TV subscription.

“There will still be plenty of room for growth beyond our forecast period as only 17% of the region’s TV households will subscribe to at least one SVOD platform by 2026,” analyst Simon Murray said in a statement.

Report: Asia Pacific to Top 630 Million Pay-TV Subs by 2026

New data from Digital TV Research found the Asia Pacific region will actually grow its pay-TV subscribers, expanding to 630 million by 2026, up from 609 million at end of 2020.

Driving growth in the region will be India, which will add 21 million subs, while China and India together will have nearly 500 million subs. Meanwhile, the number of TV households in the region will grow by 54 million to 979 million.

Driving the growth will be online TV, with IPTV subscribers overtaking cable in 2024. Online TV will add 51 million subs between 2020 and 2026 to take its total to 283 million. Digital and analog cable subscriptions will fall by 19 million and 13 million, respectively. The satellite TV sector will increase by 2 million subs to take the total to 83 million.

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While online TV sub growth surges, analyst Simon Murray says linear pay-TV remains in decline.

“Six countries will lose pay-TV subs between 2020 and 2026,” Murray said in a statement. “Most will be developed countries, but China is also included. China will fall by 10 million subscribers. This is cord-cutting, but represents only a 3% decline to 318 million.”

Report: Latin America to Have 116 Million SVOD Subs by 2026

With an influx of new subscription streaming video services such as HBO Max, Disney+ and Paramount+ entering Latin America, the region will have 116 million SVOD subscriptions by 2026 — up from the 53 million at end of 2020, according to new data from Digital TV Research. Brazil will contribute 44 million to the 2026 total, followed by Mexico with 29 million.

Five U.S.-based platforms Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Apple TV+ and HBO Max will account for 90% of the region’s paying SVOD subscriptions by end-2026.

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“There will be a wave of major SVOD platform launches in Latin America during 2021,” analyst Simon Murray said in a statement. “Paramount+ will start in March, followed by HBO Max and Star+ in June. Discovery+ is also expected expand in the region.”

Meanwhile, poorly-performing economies have hit Latin American pay-TV hard. The number of linear TV subs fell by 4 million in both 2019 and 2020. Venezuela dropped 2.4 million subs in 2020 alone, mainly due to DirecTV’s withdrawal from the market.

Across Latin America, the number of pay-TV subs peaked at 72.2 million in 2017. The total fell to 64.6 million by 2020. A small improvement is expected after 2023, with the 2026 total at 65.1 million subs.

“Brazil’s low point will be 2022, with only a small improvement expected from then,” Murray said. “The country peaked in 2014 with 19.6 million subscribers. We forecast 5.3 million fewer subscribers by 2026.”

Mexico has more pay-TV subscribers than Brazil despite having half as many TV households. Mexico has lost subscribers since its peak year of 2016, when it had 20.9 million. Mexico is not projected to cross the 20 million subscriber mark again until 2026.

Report: North American OTT Revenue to Reach $94 Billion by 2026

Over-the-top TV episode and movie revenue in U.S. and Canada will reach $94 billion in 2026; nearly twice as much as the $49 billion in 2020, according to new data from Digital TV Research. The United States — the world’s most mature OTT video market — will increase by $42 billion to $88 billion. Canada will double to $5.4 billion from $2.7 billion.

Among major OTT providers, Netflix ended 2020 with 73.9 million North American subscribers, including an estimated 16.7 million in Canada. Hulu ended 2020 with 35.4 million subs, while Disney+ totaled 94.9 million, of which 30% alone originate from India. ESPN+ tallied 12.1 million subs. CBS All Access (soon Paramount+) and Showtime OTT combined for 19.2 million, while HBO Max and Peacock totaled 17.2 million and 33 million, respectively. Amazon Prime Video ended 2019 with a reported 53.3 million subs.

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“SVOD and AVOD revenue will each increase by $22 billion between 2020 and 2026,” analyst Simon Murray said in a statement. “AVOD revenue will triple to $33 billion. SVOD will remain the main revenue source, supplying $54 billion by 2026.”