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IPTV ‘driving Western European pay-TV growth’

The number of households in Western Europe with IPTV is expected to rise by 29% between 2013 and 2018, from 21.4 million to 27.6 million, new research predicts.

In its latest pay-TV forecast, Analysys Mason says IPTV and OTT services will account for most pay-TV growth in Western Europe. It expects the numbers taking pay-TV services overall to rise by 8.9%, from 9.2 million to 113.3 million. But the forecast also says gains for some platforms will be offset by losses for others.

Analysys Mason expects the number of cable households to fall by 6.2% to 43.6 million over the five-year period, representing a net loss of 2.9 million, as analogue cable subscribers defect to non-cable digital platforms, including free-to-air DTT services. The number of pay-DTT households is expected to fall by 7.7% to 4.9 million, as pay-DTT loses momentum in France, Germany and the UK.

The forecast says that take-up of OTT video services will grow much more strongly than traditional pay-TV. But ‘cord-cutting’ cable cancellations will not be extreme, with OTT video to TV services making up only 5.6 million primary pay-TV services by 2018.

Analysys Mason says the real impact of OTT will be on secondary TV sets – where OTT services will force a decline in multi-room TV services.

The forecast predicts strong growth for IPTV, mainly because of aggressive bundling strategies by telcos, offering basic pay-TV services at little or no incremental cost to gain market share.

It adds that the number of Western European households taking up traditional pay-TV services – via analogue or digital cable, IPTV, pay-digital terrestrial TV or satellite – will rise by 4.1 million to 107.7 million between 2013 and 2018. This represents a 3.9% growth.

Analysys Mason: Pay-TV and OTT video services in Western Europe: forecasts and analysis 2013-18.

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