The third quarter numbers are now in and at the end of September IPTV subscribers globally stood at 40.5 million, having increased by almost 8% from the previous quarter and by 37% over the last four quarters. TeleGeography’s database now counts IPTV subscribers at 160 service providers in 74 countries, with at least 15 more operators about to join the list, which will boost the country count to 78.
The lead country for subscribers remains France, accounting for no fewer than 24% of global subscribers. It is followed by the US (16%), China (16%), South Korea (8%), Japan (4%), Germany (3%) and Hong Kong (3%). Completing the top ten are Belgium, Spain and Taiwan, each of which accounts for 2% of global subscribers. Among these countries China has by far the highest growth rate, and there is no doubt it will have overtaken the US to move into second place during this month. Reflecting that growth, China Telecom is already the service provider with the highest number of IPTV subscribers; it now has a third more than the second ranked operator (Iliad of France) and pulls further ahead every quarter. Following these two, the next highest ranked operators are Verizon (US), France Telecom, AT&T (US), SFR (France), Korea Telecom and NTT (Japan).
It is significant that Q3 saw the highest ever number of IPTV subscriber additions and the subscriber base continues to grow at a healthy pace, although putting it into context, IPTV still accounts for less than 6% of all pay-TV subscriber globally and has ARPUs which are well below the global average.
‘Telcos have some reason to be pleased with the progress of IPTV’ said TeleGeography’s John Dinsdale. ‘There is no doubt that the growth of IPTV is contributing to the difficulties many cablecos are having in maintaining their pay-TV subscriber numbers. However, cablecos continue to grow their revenues much more strongly than telcos, thanks to their success in gaining broadband internet and telephony subscribers. While it could be said that telcos have deprived cablecos of 40 million pay-TV subscribers, at the same time they have lost four times that number of internet and telephony subscribers to their cableco competitors’ he added.
TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Pay-TV Research Service provides quarterly tracking of over 530 pay-TV operators and forecasts for over 170 countries. It includes the industry’s most detailed tracking of competition between telcos and cablecos.
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