The global pay-TV subscriber base increased over five per cent in 2013, raising the total to 901.1 million, according to ABI Research. However the average revenue per user (ARPU) dropped slightly to $23.80 in 2013 from $24.10 in 2012.
“In general, the pay-TV market grew both in terms of subscribers and service revenue across all pay-TV platforms. Overall pay-TV service revenue reached almost $250 billion in 2013,” said Jake Saunders, VP and practice director of core forecasting, ABI Research.
Pay-TV ARPU in North America increased around 4 per cent to $76.00 in 2013. According to major pay-TV operators in North America, the growth in ARPU is as a result of a growth in the proportion of customers with advanced pay-TV set-top boxes and upgraded High Definition programming packages. Unfavourable currency exchange rates in Latin American countries have contributed to a US Dollar equivalent decline in the pay-TV ARPU for the region at the end of 2013 to $34.6 (5 per cent reduction from 2012).
Subscription of HD-TV services continue to grow in 2013 accounting for 41 per cent of total pay-TV subscriber base in 2013. ABI Research forecasts that the subscriber base of HD-TV services will continue to increase to 57 per cent of total pay-TV subscribers in 2019. As competition in the pay-TV market has increased, operators continue to offer more HD programming services, advanced set-top boxes and innovative services to boost pay-TV ARPU.