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APAC digital subscribers to reach 503 million by 2018: MPA

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MUMBAI: Media Partners Asia (MPA) has come out with its report on the Asia Pacific pay-TV and broadband market for the next five years. It predicts that DTH satellite pay-TV customers in Asia are expected to grow from 56.3 million in 2013 to more than 110 million by 2018, a CAGR of 14 per cent.

The report titled ‘Asia Pacific Pay-TV and Broadband Markets 2014’ states that by 2023, DTH’s share of the total pay-TV market will nearly double to 24 per cent as the customer base reaches 150.4 million. Meanwhile, HD DTH subscribers will increase from 10.4 million in 2013 to 37.3 million by 2023, driven by high growth in India and China as well as steady growth in Japan, Korea and Southeast Asia.

DTH subscription revenue is expected to grow at a five year CAGR of 9 per cent to $ 12.3 billion by 2018 and $ 15.2 billion by 2023. It also predicts that the market for DTH pay-TV will further consolidate as growth converges across fewer operators in markets such as India and Indonesia. In markets such as Thailand, DTH pay-TV is struggling as free DTH services have started to breed, penetrating 60 per cent TV homes. One such is Free Dish that will prove to be important to digitisation in rural and smaller towns.

The APAC pay-TV market will grow at a 10 per cent CAGR between 2013 and 2018. This will be enhanced by the subscriber jump from 312 million in 2013 to 503 million by 2018 while digital penetration of pay-TV homes expands from 62 per cent to 83 per cent.

Commenting on the findings, MPA executive director Vivek Couto said, “We see operating leverage growing for market leaders in India, Indonesia and Malaysia in particular as well as long-term upside from strategic recalibration in Australia and New Zealand. Better monetisation in the Philippines should help the market leader properly scale its DTH business and take it to the next level. We also predict incremental growth and value in Vietnam.”

The report states that among maturing markets, Malaysia is a leader with Astro as one of the most innovative operators in the world, good at increasing both subscriber growth and ARPUs as well as investing in product innovation. DTH ops in Australia and Japan continue to face headwinds. Hybrid DTH-IPTV distribution has helped sustain KT SkyLife’s proposition in Korea.

In India, broadband is a long term consideration even though all the top four DTH operators are looking at mobile partnerships and wireless broadband strategies.

IP-based distribution and broadband delivery is a challenge for DTH networks which are adapting to these realities to reduce long-term challenges. In Korea, the KT SkyLife combination retails triple play services. In Indonesia, MNC group that owns MNC Sky Vision (MNCSV) plans to rollout a bundle of IPTV and fiber-based broadband services and merge them with MNCSV.  In Malaysia, Astro has adapted to IPTV partnerships but with slow progress. In Philippines, Cignal has also embraced hybrid IP delivery.

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