Global online television and video service revenues will almost double from 2015 to exceed $50 billion in 2020. By then there may be almost a quarter of a billion homes taking a subscription video on demand service. Meanwhile the number of digital television households worldwide continues to rise. There are now over a billion homes digital television homes and a further half a billion receiving analogue television. Worldwide there are now 878 million pay-television subscribers.

A report from Digital TV Research suggests that online subscription video revenues will rise from $9.89 billion in 2015 to $21.49 billion in 2020. Advertising revenue will rise from $11.39 billion to $20.98 billion over the same period. Pay per view or rental will account for $2.82 billion while download to own or electronic sell through will contribute $4.65 billion.

Global Online Video Service Revenue Forecast 2010-2020. Source: Digital TV Research.

The report forecasts that there will be approaching 250 million homes taking subscription video on demand services by 2020, up from 20 million in 2010 and an expected 117 million by the end of 2015. The United States will contribute 70 million homes to the 2020 total.

Simon Murray of Digital TV Research said “SVOD has developed even faster than we expected in our last edition a year ago.” He said some of this growth was spurred by the stated aim of Netflix to establish operations in 2000 countries by the end of 2016. “Not only has the launch of Netflix boosted each market, but the anticipation of its launch has galvanized local players into action – creating a whirlwind of promotional activity.”

The forecast is for Netflix to end 2015 with almost 70 million subscribers worldwide.

To put that in perspective, Digital TV Research estimates that there are 1.55 billion television homes worldwide and the number continues to rise. Of these, just over two thirds have digital television up from 40% in 2010. Since then 455 million digital television homes were added worldwide.

Global Television Homes 2010-2014. Source: Digital TV Research.

There were 878 million analogue and digital pay-television subscribers worldwide at the end of 2014, up from 718 million in 2010.

Pay-television revenues passed $200 billion in 2014, up from $176 billion in 2010. North America generates about half the revenue. The United States recorded revenues nearly ten times as high as China, which is the next most valuable region, with over a quarter of a billion subscribers, representing over a quarter of the digital television homes in the world.

The informitv Multiscreen Index shows that the index of 100 leading pay-television services worldwide gained 4.59 million subscribers in the first quarter of 2015, an increase of 1.27%.

The figures are from the Global OTT TV & Video Forecasts report and the Digital TV World Databook, both available from Digital TV Research. The Multiscreen Index is published by informitv.