Pay TV players go for OTT, 'skinny' bundles

Staff writer
Future TV Asia

The global pay TV services market, which includes cable TV, satellite TV, telco TV and over-the-top (OTT) video, totaled $237 billion in 2014, up 7% from the previous year, according to IHS.

“In a growing number of pay TV markets, service providers are expanding market presence by offering their own OTT video services, primarily as apps on tablets and third-party OTT media servers,” said Jeff Heynen, research director for broadband access and pay TV at IHS.

“Dish Networks, the second-largest satellite provider in the US, is offering an OTT video service called Sling TV that’s aimed squarely at cord-cutters and cord-nevers,” said Heynen. “The net result of these offerings will be slower revenue growth globally as OTT services carry a lower ARPU.”

“Pay TV providers are also actively marketing ‘skinny’ bundles of 10 to 30 channels in more affordable packages. Verizon has gone so far as to introduce multiple bundles of channels that subscribers can add on top of their base channels to create a custom channel lineup,” Heynen said.

IHS also found that global pay TV subscribers grew 5% to nearly 800 million in 2014 with the OTT segment providing the strongest growth for the first time.

Cable pay TV revenue growth slowed to 1.8% in 2014, largely due to sluggish subscriber growth in North America, where net video subscribers are declining around 1%-3% percent annually.

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