Digital penetration growing fast in APac: Study

MUMBAI: The Asia Pacific TV sector has over 150 million digital TV homes while IPTV households have crossed 10 million IPTV households, according to latest figures released by Informa Telecoms and Media.

During 2009 more than 35 million homes upgraded from analog to digital TV despite a global downturn. In the year, 26 million new homes subscribed to pay TV - split among cable (14 million), DTH (9 million) and IPTV (3 million).
India will have a 52 per cent digital TV penetration in 2015, according to the forecast. This stood at 21 per cent at the end of last year, up from five per cent in 2005.

Informa Telecoms and Media forecasts show that those sectors will continue to grow impressively over the next five years. Adam Thomas, Media Research Manager and lead analyst on the research, said: "By 2015 there will be well over 400 million digital TV homes, including 40 million taking IPTV, which in turn will generate revenues of more than $40 billion. There are increasingly positive signs for digital TV in the region. Competition between the platforms is intensifying and this is pushing digital upgrades up the agenda of many operators." 
By 2015, digital penetration will have reached 100 per cent in four markets (Australia, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Singapore), with another four expected to have achieved a penetration rate of 70 per cent or more (Japan, Malaysia, South Korea and Taiwan), according to Informa Telecoms and Media.

Thomas adds, "While globally IPTV has failed to make any real impact it does remain important in the Asia-Pacific region. We expect IPTV subscribers to grow by 25 million over the next five years, which means that it will become a significant rival to cable and DTH in some markets, notably via SingTel‘s Mio TV in Singapore and Korea Telecom‘s Qook in South Korea.
"Despite this generally positive picture, our research found that digital upgrades will not be easy to achieve in some markets. In the cable sector in particular, subscribers are taking some convincing of the need to upgrade from analog to digital. Although there is good news in China where the government‘s proactive approach to converting analogue to digital is promoting upgrades."

Digital TV penetration (per cent)

Hong Kong 5887100
New Zealand3465100
South Korea144483

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