DTH

India?s active DTH subscriber base to reach 75 million by 2023: MPA

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MUMBAI: Even as India continues to remain the most important market for DTH pay-TV in Asia Pacific, active direct to home (DTH) subscribers in the country are projected to touch 75 million by 2023 from 41 million in 2014.

The increase in contribution from high-ARPU (average revenue per user) HD subscribers, upselling of SD subscribers to high-value packs, and a higher uptake of VAS, will bolster industry economics in India, as per a report by Media Partners Asia (MPA).

Additionally, total Asia Pacific DTH pay-TV subscribers grew nine per cent in 2014 to more than 61 million in 2014 while industry revenue grew five per cent to top $9 billion, according to the MPA research.

While India, Malaysia and the Philippines continue to remain strong DTH markets, Indonesia, Korea and Japan are coming under increased pressure.

MPA projections indicate that total Asia Pacific DTH industry pay-TV revenue will grow at seven per cent CAGR to $12.5 billion by 2019 and thereafter grow to reach $15 billion by 2023, with significant upside coming from HD and VoD-driven value added services (VAS).

DTH?s share of total pay-TV subscribers in Asia Pacific will grow from 12 per cent to 22 per cent over the next 10 years. In recent years, DTH has experienced a significant phase of growth in Asia, driven by the expansion of DTH pay-TV in India, Southeast Asia and Korea. However, the growth of broadband, IPTV and OTT is placing a natural limit on future growth while macro concerns and aggressive competition are also challenging.

The Philippines has also emerged as a strong market for DTH growth in recent years, driven by Cignal and Gsat. Total DTH pay-TV subs reached 1.06 million in 2014 and will rise 3x over the next decade with future upside coming from significant HD growth and package upselling, which will help boost ARPUs.

DTH will also play an important role in the growth of pay-TV in Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Vietnam but its growth remains capped in markets such as Indonesia and Thailand. However, in Indonesia there could be significantly more upside if leading operators convert the existing free satellite market to pay-TV (starting with a low cost offer) and programme more premium local pay channels.

In Malaysia, DTH will retain a dominant chunk of the pay-TV market, driven by Astro through HD and DVR services as well as VoD and the emergence of premium vernacular and Asian content, exclusive to the Astro DTH platform.

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