Global Pay-TV Subscriptions Surpass 1 Billion

LONDON—While pay-TV services in the U.S. are in the middle of a battle for subscribers against the established and emerging streaming platforms, the global pay-TV industry continues to grow overall and has recently crossed a milestone. According to Digital TV Research, with the number of added subscribers throughout the world in 2018, the total number of pay-TV subscribers has surpassed 1 billion.

Estimates show that the total number of pay-TV subscribers increased by 26 million across 138 countries from 2017 to 2018. IPTV subscribers saw the biggest growth of 42 million, and the service now makes up a quarter of all pay-TV subscribers; it also surpassed satellite TV in total subscribers. Satellite TV still did see a growth of 2 million, as did DTT, which added 1 million subscribers.

Cable, however, suffered a net loss in 2018. Digital cable TV added 7 million subscribers, but analog loss 16 million. Cable still accounts for half of pay-TV subscribers, but that is down from its three-quarters share in 2010.

After peaking at $205 billion in 2016, global revenues fell to $199 billion in 2018, according to the report.

The full Pay-TV Databook is available here.