Study: Streaming Subscriptions Could Break 2 Billion by 2027; Pay-TV Loses Ground
The trends that have been obvious across the streaming and traditional TV landscapes in recent years continue to accelerate according to a recent report. According to London-based media analysis firm Omdia’s “Global: Pay TV & Online Video” study, subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) adoption is up 17.7% year-on-year as 1.34 billion households have turned to streaming services worldwide. Pay-TV subscriptions also rose to 1.03 billion, but the sector’s modest 6% increase and fluctuating global subscription numbers suggest that SVOD competition is phasing out the traditional service model.
Omdia also forecasts an additional 10.5% growth in SVOD subscriptions by the end of 2022, which would bring total global viewership up to 1.48 billion. If that trend continues, 2027 may see subscriber numbers topping 2 billion. These adoptions coincide with streamers’ efforts to extend their reach across the globe, leading to continued market expansion in the coming years.
Adam Thomas, Omdia’s TV and online video team senior analyst, noted that fast-moving companies such as Disney+, Paramount+ and Peacock are advancing into new territories. Company mergers and international launches allow streamers to break into fresh markets and avoid an increasingly oversaturated American market.
Since the pandemic, streamers have been looking outside of the U.S. for reliable viewership, which Europe and Latin America have been eager to provide. Convivia’s “State of Streaming” report illustrates that gains in subscription adoption across Europe continue even as pandemic worries abate. HBO Max, for example, expanded into 15 countries in March 2022, with additional nations such as Turkey and Greece joining later in the year.
Other streamers including AMC+ are planning to make headway into the Central and Eastern European markets in early 2023. In Latin America, Disney+, Starz and Star+ team up to provide bundles to new subscribers in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Ecuador, Mexico, and Peru.
As for the pay-TV model, Omdia’s forecast is not as favorable. SVOD adoption gains are much more stable when compared to viewership confined by cable. For the study, Omdia looked at 101 pay-TV markets, finding just over half (55) reported growth, 41 showed decline, and the final five remained essentially flat.
The Omdia study concludes by hedging its bets on both pay-TV and SVOD subscription adoption rates, citing Netflix’s first quarter 2022 loss of over 200 thousand subscribers as proof that the streaming space is just as unstable as traditional options.
Even so, pay-TV retention may not be in as much trouble as analysts believe. According to a recent survey by Altman Solon, live sports and local news are significant driving factors for any subscription adoption. Even as streamers make inroads into live sports, the current stability and infrastructure that cable provides may keep news and sports aficionados from cutting their cords any time soon.