Pay television services will add 94 million subscribers globally between 2017 and 2023 to reach 1.1 billion. The number of online television and video subscriptions will more than double over the same period from 366 million to 777 million.

That is the prediction of Simon Murray at Digital Television Research. “China is the brightest star by adding 171 million subscriptions during this period to take its total to 610 million,” he wrote. While the number of pay television subscribers in China will grow by 32 million to 375 million, the number of online television and video subscriptions will increase from 138 million to 235 million.

These numbers are cumulative. One household can have more than one subscription. A household subscribing to satellite television and Netflix would be counted as two subscriptions. A household may also pay for more than one online subscription service, and indeed many do.

Global television and online video subscriptions, 2017-2023. Source: Digital TV Research

While Digital Television Research forecasts that traditional television subscriptions in the United States will fall by 10 million to 80 million, multiple subscriptions will push the online television and video subscriber total from 132 million to 208 million. Total subscription revenues will fall from $108 billion in 2017 to $105 billion in 2023, with revenue from online subscriptions insufficient to make up the shortfall.

In Western Europe, the number of television subscriptions will rise from 153 million in 2017 to 205 million in 2023, while the number of online television and video subscriptions will almost double, from 50 million to 99 million. While television subscription revenues are forecast to fall by $2 million, revenues from online television and video, including advertising, will go from $10 billion to $23 billion.

Traditional pay television revenues will fall globally by $18.5 billion to $183 billion, while online television subscription revenues will rise by $43.7 billion to teach $69 billion. As a result, combined subscriptions revenues will rise by 11% or $25.2 billion to a total of $251 billion between 2017 and 2023.

Digital Television Research is forecasting that Netflix will have 192 million subscribers in 2023, while Amazon will have 120 million. However, China will have 235 million online video subscribers.

So in summary, the number of traditional television subscriptions will continue to rise, albeit by less than 10% worldwide over five years. Meanwhile, the number of online television and video subscriptions will increase by 112%, but total revenues from traditional television and online television and video subscriptions will only rise by 11% globally and will fall slightly in the United States.

If the forecasts are correct they confirm that traditional television subscriptions are far from falling off a cliff, while online services still have some way to overtake them.

The TV Forecasts report provides forecasts for paying subscriptions across 138 countries and is published by Digital TV Research.