New research shows that online video subscription numbers continue to grow worldwide at impressive levels. Omdia’s new Global: Pay TV & Online Video report finds that the global total increased from 1.14 billion at end-2020 to 1.34 billion at end-2021, up 17.7% year-on-year.
Omdia is forecasting a further 10.5% growth in 2022 to take the figure to 1.48 billion by year-end. With new services continually entering to market and, crucially, major players still only part of the way through their respective global expansion efforts, this means the market will continue to expand for several years and Omdia’s forecasts show the global total will exceed 2 billion in 2027.
Adam Thomas, Senior Principal Analyst in Omdia’s TV & Online Video team commented: “Online video services are continuing to experience impressive growth levels and there is a lot more to come. Disney+ has enjoyed an incredibly successful launch but there are several more attractive territories for it to enter over the next couple of years. And the same goes for Paramount+, Peacock and several others. The prospects for the alliance of HBO Max with Discovery+ also looks exciting. There are numerous reasons to be positive for online video’s prospects over the next few years which are reflected in our forecasts.”
Meanwhile, global pay TV subscription numbers grew by 0.6% in 2021, from 1.02 billion to 1.03 billion. With competition from online video intensifying, Omdia expects the pay TV market to exhibit slow decline looking ahead and forecasts subscription numbers to drop from the 1.03 billion figure to one billion in 2027, down by 1.9%. And while online video subscription numbers are growing just about everywhere, the scenario for pay TV differs a great deal from country-to-country. Of the 101 pay TV markets that Omdia tracks in most detail, the outcomes show significant fluctuations, with 55 countries still reporting subscription growth, 41 reporting decline and five essentially static. Over the next five years Omdia expects those contrasting fortunes to continue, with countries like Indonesia continuing to post solid increases, while others – most notably the US – seeing ongoing decline.
Thomas said “The one small note of caution I would add is that with pay TV as a whole plateauing, the TV and video business is becoming increasingly reliant on growth from online video. But with that business having been built on high content investment aligned with low subscription prices, a price-sensitive public has come to expect a lot of bang for their buck. The content costs versus pricing balancing act is a tricky one to navigate and we’ve already heard from Netflix that it expects to lose 2 million customers in this quarter. It is quite clear that constant growth for online video is by no means guaranteed.” BCS Bureau