Ampere: Pay-TV Added 3.1 Million Subs Globally in Q2

The pay-TV market may be in decline — especially in the United States — but globally, the industry saw an addition of 3.1 million subscribers in the second quarter (ended June 30), according to new data from Ampere Analysis.

The London-based research firm said that despite the loss of live sports due to the coronavirus pandemic — a major draw for pay-TV — emerging markets have seen subscriber gains, spearheaded by China adding 3.1 million subs, and offset by a loss of 1.1 million subs in the rest of the world.

The data is based on a “bellwether” of the top 70 reporting pay-TV operators, which represent more than half of the world’s 1.1 billion pay-TV subscribers.

The U.S. continued to be the loss leader, with 1.4 million subs decline in the quarter across bellwether companies — despite sub upticks from Charter and Dish Network. Other loss leaders included Australia, with Foxtel being hit particularly hard by the lack of sports in Q2; and Denmark, which has been suffering ongoing pay-TV losses since Q4 2016.

“While some countries are seeing pay-TV subscriptions suffer due to the pandemic, there is still growth in the market, driven partly by bundling of services,” senior analyst Toby Holleran said in a statement. “Cord-cutters in a number of developed territories like Canada — whose pay-TV market continues to mirror its North American neighbor — are being replaced by newer TV customers in emerging markets, leaving the market as a whole stable.”

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Holleran contends there is some sub growth left in developed nations such as France and Spain, which he said are bucking the trend of “stagnation” in Western territories.

Analyst: U.S. SVOD Subs to Reach 307 Million by 2025

With the recent and pending launch of several high-profile subscription streaming video platforms, subscriber growth in the United States is projected to skyrocket.

New data from Digital TV Research says the number of domestic SVOD subscriptions will climb from 199 million at the end of 2019 to 307 million by 2025.

The London-based firm is basing much of the projection on new arrivals Apple TV+, Disney+, pending services HBO Max and NBCUniversal’s Peacock, in addition to Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu.

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“The average SVOD household will pay for 3.28 SVOD platforms by 2025; up from 2.28 at end-2019. So, the average SVOD home will add one subscription between 2019 and 2025,” analyst Simon Murray said in a statement.

Murray said that more than a dozen platforms would have more than 5 million paying subs by 2025 — revealing just how far ahead in terms of choice the U.S. market is compared with the rest of the world.

Indeed, CBS All Access and Showtime OTT have more than 10 million combined subs with a projected 16 million by the end of the year. Disney last month announced that its SVOD platform has more than 26.5 million subs. AMC Networks’ Acorn TV and Urban Movie Channel have a combined 2 million subs.

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“Growth for established players such as Netflix and Hulu will be muted due to intense competition from younger rivals such as Disney+, Peacock and the augmented All Access [with ViacomCBS’s Pluto TV],” Murray said.