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India, Korea, China to power AsiaPac Pay-TV gains

While the Asia-Pacific pay-TV market contracted in 2020 amid the Covid-19 pandemic, revenues are projected to rise by a compound annual growth rate of 3 percent between 2020 and 2025, driven largely by India, China and Korea, per new Media Partners Asia (MPA) data.

According to the Asia Pacific Pay-TV Distribution report, pay-TV revenues fell by 3 percent to $53 billion last year. MPA projects they will top $60 billion by 2025, with subs revenues rising at a 2 percent CAGR to $49 billion and ad revenues up by a 4 percent CAGR to reach more than $11 billion.

MPA projects gains in India, China, Korea and the Philippines, while Japan and Malaysia will remain flat. The pay-TV markets in Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore and Thailand are expected to continue to contract.

In 2020, Covid-19 impacted ad growth region-wide, while the halt on sports in the first half hurt subscriber and ARPU growth. As sports events resumed, operators were able to begin to recover some of those residential customer losses, but activity in the commercial and enterprise segments remains soft.

The region added 23.8 million net new subs in 2020, with China contributing more than 90 percent of that growth thanks to bundled IPTV, OTT & broadband services. Total pay-TV subs in AsiaPac hit 668 million, a 3 percent gain, representing a penetration rate of 62 percent. By 2025, there will be more than 715 million pay-TV customers across AsiaPac, with China, India and the Philippines leading in terms of contribution to incremental subscriber growth.

“The IP distribution of video content bundled with broadband services is helping to prolong the shelf life of pay-TV channel bundles while also providing a basis for integration with new OTT video services,” said Vivek Couto, executive director of MPA. “This strategy, combined with continued demand for household TV and broadband bundles amongst aging customers, is ensuring that the pay-TV sector remains relatively robust in markets such as China, Korea and Malaysia while retaining scale in countries such as Japan. In large emerging markets such as India and the Philippines, strong demand for live sports and entertainment channels on TV fuels the growth of low-ARPU DTH satellite platforms which will remain dominant but increasingly mature. In Southeast Asia, IPTV & broadband bundles have helped Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam stay relatively afloat following the steady erosion of the DTH satellite sector. Subscriber growth will decelerate in large markets such as China, India and Korea with a focus on ARPU growth and driving efficiencies through further consolidation. Cord-cutting will continue in highly penetrated online SVOD markets such as Australia, Singapore and New Zealand though churn should stabilize as operators cater to aging customer cohorts with bundles of live sports, local and international entertainment and OTT services through next-gen STBs, supported by HD and UHD/4K technology. This trend will also be evident in Hong Kong, Malaysia and Japan.” World Screen

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