Pay-television providers are increasingly going over the top to deliver multiscreen services. Yet replicating the pay-television experience online may not be sufficient to achieve similar scale to pure online services like Netflix. That is the view of a report from Ovum, published in advance of the OTTtv World Summit in London.

Many pay-television providers offer multiscreen services over the top of online networks to retain existing subscribers.

Some operators have launched standalone online video subscription services, mainly to retain market share by reaching customers that do not subscribe to traditional pay-television platforms. DISH Network offers this model in the United States with Sling TV and AT&T is expected to provide something similar with DIRECTV Now.

Some programming providers are going direct to consumer with standalone services, including CBS All Access, HBO Now, Showtime and Starz in the United States. Baseball, football, soccer, basketball and hockey are also available through dedicated online services.

However, Ovum predicts that pay-TV subscription video services are unlikely to reach a similar size subscriber base to Netflix, which it forecasts will have more than 60 million subscribers in the United States by 2022 and a global total of over 150 million, leaving it unchallenged in its dominance of global online video.

Netflix streaming subscriptions 2009-2016 forecast. Source: Ovum.

New entrants, like Netflix and Amazon currently have around 63% of the market share of online video subscriptions. Others, including studios, media groups and sports associations, account for 29%. Network operators, currently providing cable satellite or telco platforms, have a global share of just 6% of subscription online video services in 2016. Ovum does not expect that proportion to change significantly. It says that online subscription services are unlikely to become the principal method of delivering pay television in the foreseeable future.

Meanwhile, we might add, the 100 pay-television services in the informitv Multiscreen Index have over 400 million subscribers between them and globally that number continues to grow at around 1% a quarter.

Competing with Netflix: Pay-TV goes OTT is published by Ovum.