The 100 leading television services in the informitv Multiscreen Index added a total of 4.33 million television subscribers in the last quarter of 2017, compared to 3.70 million in the previous quarter and 4.03 million in the last quarter of 2016. The gain of almost 1% was slightly up on the previous six quarters.

The Multiscreen Index is based on a quarterly survey of 100 leading television services worldwide. Over half of them reported subscriber gains in the last quarter of 2017, but these were largely offset by subscriber losses elsewhere.

Multiscreen Index summary., 2018 Q1. Source: informitv Multiscreen Index.

The majority of the gains were once again in the Asia Pacific region, which added 2.35 million subscribers, which is fewer than in the preceding two quarters but about the same number as in the comparable quarter a year previously.

The top 10 services in the Asia Pacific region added a total of 1.65 million subscribers, mostly in India. Dish TV and Videocon d2h, which have since merged, added 360,000 subscribers between them.

There was a small gain of 0.48 million subscribers the Americas region, compared to a decline in the previous two quarters, bringing the number back to around the same level as the year before.

The top 10 services in the United States gained 84,600 subscribers, largely through the contribution of the DIRECTV NOW online service, which added 362,000 subscribers.

Satellite services led the worldwide overall gains, adding 1.87 million subscribers worldwide. That is despite DIRECTV losing 147,000 satellite subscribers, which was the largest loss among services in the index.

The greatest gain was for Canal+ Africa, which added 658,000 subscribers, taking its total to 3.46 million. The service added 516,000 in the same quarter the previous year.

“Although there is a popular perception that pay television subscriber numbers are falling, they are continuing to grow worldwide at a rate of around 1% a quarter,” observed Dr William Cooper, the editor of the informitv Multiscreen Index.

“Much of the growth is in developing economies. Although average revenues are lower, there is still significant potential, with worldwide gains of around 10% forecast over the next five years.”

“Among the 100 services in the Multiscreen Index, there are almost as many subscribers in the Asia Pacific region as the Americas,” noted informitv analyst Dr Sue Farrell. “The merged Dish TV and Videocon d2h in India now has 29.51 million satellite subscribers, which is more than AT&T has with DIRECTV, U-verse and DIRECTV NOW combined.”

The Multiscreen Index comprises 100 leading multichannel television and video services that collectively account for around 440 million subscribing homes worldwide. The index provides an industry benchmark of the relative performance of television service providers against which customer gains or losses can be measured.