TV subscriptions to pass 3 billion in 2027 – Omdia

New research predicts the number of global online video subscriptions will exceed 2 billion, and the number of pay TV subscriptions will ‘still’ be 1 billion in 2027, though Netflix expected to lose 2 million customers in Q2 2022.

The number of online video subscriptions has been rising ‘at impressive levels’ according to research from Omdia, which claims the global total increased from 1.14 billion at end of 2020 to 1.34 billion at end of 2021, representing a 17.7% hike.

It reckons this march shows no signs of slowing either, with a 10.5% growth forecasted for 2022 to take the figure to 1.48 billion by the end of the year. With big platforms still in the process of rolling out their services across the globe, it expects continued market expansion to the point where the number will exceed 2 billion in 2027.

Global pay TV subscription numbers grew by 0.6% in 2021, bringing the number up from 1.02 billion to 1.03 billion. Here it expects eventual decline thanks to the rise of streaming services, dropping to 1 billion in 2027. The trends vary a lot by geography it seems, with countries such as Indonesia registering increases, while numbers in others such as the US continue to drop.

“Online video services are continuing to experience impressive growth levels and there is a lot more to come,” said Adam Thomas, Senior Principal Analyst in Omdia’s TV and Online Video team. “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.”

“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.”

The cost of living crisis might be taking a bite out of everyone’s finances, but that won’t be enough to break the TV streaming habits that got us all through the pandemic, it seems.


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