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Global digital TV penetration passes 50%

The penetration of digital TV services has passed the halfway point worldwide, and will go on to reach 77.6% of all TV households by 2016, according to a new report from French firm IDATE.

The total number of TV households worldwide is expected to reach 1.502bn in 2016 (+9.4% in five years), with cable expected to remain the chief access channel, although it will gradually lose ground to satellite and IPTV, which will account for 30% and 7.3% respectively by 2016.

Terrestrial TV is expected to continue its decline and top to the number three spot by 2016, with a roughly 26% share of the global market.

Meanwhile, the development of hybrid solutions that combine live programming on broadcast networks (terrestrial and DTH) with over-the-top (OTT) video services is expected to be a key variable in how people watch TV in future.

Three factors in particular are identified as being likely to shape the development of digital TV: governments’ ability to steer the digital switchover of national terrestrial broadcasting networks; cable companies’ investments in upgrading their infrastructure; and how popular IPTV and satellite pay-TV services are with TV households.

The global pay-TV is expected to generate revenues of €340.1bn in 2012, and grow by nearly 3% per year over the next five years.

Ad revenues are expected to enjoy even stronger growth of 21.2% between 2012 and 2016. Public financing/licensing fees are predicted to continue to increase “significantly” (+7% in 5 years).

As pay-TV services near saturation in the world’s more developed TV markets, many providers in the West will look to emerging markets for vital sources of new growth, predicts IDATE.

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