Mumbai: A new report from leading industry analysts Media Partners Asia (MPA) projects that India’s pay-TV industry will grow sales at a 9.2% CAGR between 2016 and 2021 to reach US$14.5 billion in revenue by 2021, increasing thereafter to US$18 billion by 2025. India’s pay-TV industry is on course to generate US$9.4 billion in sales this year, according to the report, Asia Pacific Pay-TV And Broadband Markets 2016.
Total pay-TV subscribers are forecast to grow from 152 million this year to 183 million by 2025. Pay-TV penetration, including multiple subs in a home, should remain stable over 2016-25 at ~80% of TV homes, although digital pay-TV subs are projected to grow from 93 million to 129 million over the same period. MPA forecasts that 70% of India’s pay-TV base will be digitalized by 2025.
Ongoing cable digitalization will help facilitate a gradual increase in pay-TV monthly ARPUs, from US$3.3 in 2016 to US$4.5 in 2025, although this will be offset by the 30% share of pay-TV subs still accruing to analog by 2025. Cable will remain pay-TV’s largest platform but its share of pay-TV subscribers is expected to decline, from 68% in 2016 to 60% in 2025, as DTH attracts the majority of new subs.
Commenting on the findings of the report, MPA executive director Vivek Couto said: “Future economic growth should remain strong, which will support solid gains in the pay-TV industry. Digitalizing India’s 65 million analog subscribers remains a major opportunity for cable, DTH and other emerging pay-TV platforms. Digital cable has done well to attain a 30% share in Phase III areas, which tend to be DTH strongholds. At the same time, changes in the distribution landscape, together with gaps in traditional pay-TV services, are fostering the growth of new platforms. While Reliance Industries has yet to unveil pricing and bundling plans for its broadband service R-Jio, the product could disrupt traditional pay-TV distribution in urban markets. Expanded TV ratings from BARC meanwhile, which gives a better picture of viewing in rural areas, has also helped Prasar Bharati’s Freedish gain traction in Phase III and Phase IV areas.”
The market for pay-TV channels in India remains growth-oriented. The pay-TV channels sector is on track to generate US$4.9 billion in aggregate revenue in 2016, up 16% year-on-year. The revenue mix is approximately 70:30, skewed in favor of ad sales. Maintaining strong future growth will require channel operators to manage several structural changes, including the increased importance of rural markets under BARC’s new TV measurement system, changing norms on channel pricing and the rise of OTT video services.
Pay-TV channel advertising revenue should grow by 15% this year, to reach ~US$3.4 billion, while affiliate fees for pay-TV broadcasters should grow by 18% to reach ~US$1.5 billion.