Subscription and pay-per-view television revenues peaked in 2016 at $205 billion. They are forecast to fall by 14% to $177 billion in 2024, down to 2010 levels, despite a predicted gain of 380 million subscribers between 2010 and 2024. North America will account for 46% of global pay television revenues.
In its latest report, Digital TV Research forecasts that eight of the top 10 countries will lose revenues between 2018 and 2024.
Pay-TV revenues will decline in 51 countries, but that means they will not fall in 87 other countries in the forecast.
“Subscriber growth is mainly in developing countries where ARPU is lower than the developed countries,” explains Simon Murray, of Digital TV Research. Subscribers are also moving from more lucrative standalone television packages to double and triple-play bundles with internet and telephone services.
In the United States, revenues peaked at $106 billion in 2015 but are forecast to fall by $21 billion of 22% between 2018 and 2024 to $75.7 billion.
That is still $76 billion. For comparison, it is ten times more than the total revenues of Netflix from online video in the United States in 2018.
China will see revenues relatively flat at $11.6 billion.
India will move from sixth to third place and will increase pay television revenues by 20% to over $6 billion in 2024, from just $2.5 billion in 2010.
The United Kingdom is predicted to rank fourth, with $6.0 billion, down from $7 billion in 2018, when it was placed third.
Canada will also see a fall, from $6.4 billion in 2018 to $5.7 billion in 2024.
The top five countries will collectively account for $105 billion or 59% of global pay television revenues by 2024 and the next 15 will bring in a further $40 billion or 23%. So the top 20 countries will contribute over 80% of total pay television revenues.
Or, put another way, the United States and Canada will still between them account for 46% of pay television revenues globally.
While traditional pay television revenues in North America may be forecast to decline, the key question is whether they will be compensated for by the growth of online video.
Online video subscription revenues are forecast to increase by around $50 billion globally between 2018 and 2024, so it may be more a question of revenue shifting from one form of distribution to another.