North American IPTV subs to hit 20mn in 2016

The North American digital television market is continuing to grow despite persistent talk of cord cutting, according to a new report from US firm Strategy Analytics, which estimates that the number of digital TV subscriptions will rise from 114mn in 2011 to 129mn in 2016, giving a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.36%.

The study adds that cord cutting is yet to make an impact on North American TV services, as the total pay-TV subscriber base continues to increase, though it could well start to make itself felt in the years ahead.

Overall, the cable TV market will see a decline in subscribers, according to the research firm, although the number of subscribers to digital cable TV services is expected to increase from 49mn in 2011 to nearly 54mn in 2016.

Meanwhile, digital satellite and IPTV services are expected to benefit from this changing market, with the region’s IPTV providers set to increase their total customer base from 8mn in 2011 to 20mn in 2016.

“Cord cutting could still have an impact on the pay-TV market, so we keep a close eye on the trends and activities of pay-TV consumers,” said Jason Blackwell, Director, Service Provider Strategies (SPS) at Strategy Analytics. “However, without a competitive level of content, alternative services have yet to offer a compelling alternative to the traditional pay-TV channel lineup.”

Richard Fontes, Analyst in the Service Provider Strategies (SPS) group at Strategy Analytics, adds: “Cable has been weakening for several quarters with most operators losing subscribers. Second screen, TV Everywhere, and other new services from cable operators will help slow these losses and keep higher value – meaning higher Average Revenue per User (ARPU) – digital subscribers in place.”

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