According to ABI Research, although the increasing adoption of video streaming platforms has created significant challenges to traditional pay TV services, the overall pay TV market is expected to grow at a steady pace to surpass a 1.1 billion subscriber base in 2024.
Traditional pay TV services in North America are affected mainly by the competition of video streaming services. Increasing numbers of consumers are switching from pay TV services to lower-cost video streaming. In the first quarter of 2019, cable, satellite and IPTV services in the region have lost more than 1.2 million subscribers.
"High-speed broadband penetration, along with the availability of multiple streaming services, is driving the declining pay TV trend. Increasing broadband penetration is, in fact, accelerating the adoption of online video services across different regions," said Khin Sandi Lynn, industry analyst at ABI.
According to ABI Research's market data, the fixed broadband market is expected to exceed 1 billion subscribers at the end of 2019, with fiber-optic broadband access representing more than half of the total subscriber base. The impact of over-the-top (OTT) video on the pay TV market varies from region to region depending on the price points, content choices, and stability of video delivery across different platforms. Despite the increase in home broadband adoption rates, traditional pay TV services are expected to remain dominant in emerging markets.
In an attempt to meet the streaming demand, pay TV operators have introduced live streaming services, which provide lower cost compared to traditional pay TV packages. Deployment of Android-based set-top boxes is another attempt to integrate streaming services with pay TV services. Although cord-cutting is significant only in mature markets, pay TV operators in emerging markets are also embracing Android TV set-tops to facilitate streaming features to their pay TV customers. Airtel and Hathway from India and Telkom Indonesia are some operators from emerging markets that are deploying Android TV set-tops.
"In addition to investment in content and advanced set-top boxes, investment in efficient analytics solutions are important for customer retention. Analytics solutions based on artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning algorithms can provide comprehensive insights on content consumption, prediction of churn, etc., which is valuable for content recommendation, improving user interface, and proposing best-fit packages to customers to prevent or reduce subscriber loss," said Lynn.