US IPTV subs wax, as cable subs wane

Telcos will be leading the next growth phase for pay-TV services in the US, with the number of IPTV subscribers there set to increase from 8.8mn at the end of 2011 to 18.6mn in 2017, according to new figures from US analysts Parks Associates.

Satellite operators’ share of the US pay-TV market is expected to drop slightly to 30% by 2017, while cable’s market share will fall more steeply to 52%, and IPTV’s stake will increase to 17%.

Cable subscription figures are set to decline from 60.7mn in 2011 to 56.1mn in 2017, although large cable operators such as Comcast and Time Warner Cable are already adjusting their messaging and packages to emphasise their high-speed services, says the research firm.

“The era of huge subscriber gains in the US pay-TV market is over,” said Jim O’Neill, Research Analyst at Parks Associates. “Cable TV providers are losing subscribers to IPTV services from AT&T, Verizon, and CenturyLink.

“Satellite providers also will experience subscriber loss as telcos continue to expand fibre footprints, leverage pricing on triple- and quad-play bundles, and offer advanced TV Everywhere products. Going forward, subscriber retention will become the focus for cable and satellite providers.”

In addition, experiments in high-speed broadband will spawn the next wave of advanced Internet services, including new streaming and cloud-based video services, according to Parks.

US pay-TV market shares (2011-17)

US pay-TV market shares (2011-17)

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