Varying growth opportunities for Asia Pacific pay-TV service providers

Thursday, August 18th, 2016
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Pay-TV Innovation Forum Highlights Varying Growth Opportunities for
Asia Pacific Pay-TV Service Providers

  • Research paper shows a dramatic innovation gap between operators in Advanced Asia and Emerging Asia instigated by a long-standing economic and technological divide
  • Operators are directly responding to differing regional pressures with innovation by Advanced providers focused on improving existing product suites, whilst investment in Emerging economies is being used to create new solutions to boost subscriber growth

CHESEAUX, Switzerland and SINGAPORE — NAGRA, a Kudelski Group (SIX:KUD.S) company and the world’s leading independent provider of content protection and multiscreen television solutions, in partnership with MTM, a leading international research and strategy consultancy, have revealed the APAC findings from the Pay-TV Innovation Forum research program.

This latest paper reviews the pay-TV landscape in the Asia Pacific region and confirms that growing competition is driving an increased focus on innovation. The region is highly fragmented, with significant distinction between the most and least technologically Advanced countries, and this is reflected in an innovation gap between Advanced and Emerging pay-TV markets.

While some providers are at the leading edge, incorporating IP connectivity, OTT TV and 4K content, others are limited to basic pay-TV services delivered by a standard set-top box. Across Advanced economies in the region, 97 percent of pay-TV providers offer IP connected set-top boxes, compared to only 42 percent in Emerging markets.

There are also noticeable differences in operator provisioning of other features. 4K availability within the region varies, with 50 percent of providers in Advanced economies offering this service, versus only six percent in Emerging ones. There is also significant variation in the availability of TV Everywhere services, with 53 percent of Emerging providers offering it compared with 80 percent in the Advanced economies.

These differences underscore that providers are focusing on varying and diverse innovation initiatives over the next five years which will be directly linked to their economic circumstances. In Emerging markets, service providers are expected to concentrate their efforts on delivering core valued-added propositions, including HD video and a transition to hybrid STBs. Operators in Advanced markets that already offer these services are expected to focus on developing seamless video experiences across devices, based on IP, cloud and data technologies to make content discovery as easy as possible.

The paper examines product and service portfolios of 66 pay-TV service providers across the 12 largest pay-TV markets in the Asia Pacific region, representing 240 million pay-TV households. This figure is equal to half of the global household total, yet the fragmented nature of development in the region means it only represents 20 percent of global pay-TV revenue.

“It’s intriguing to see the marked differences between different markets within the region, both in terms of existing services and innovations planned for the future,” said Simon Trudelle, senior product marketing director at NAGRA. “Innovation within the region will be supported by existing and future investment in broadband infrastructure to deliver pay-TV content. For countries where broadband will still take years to be widely deployed it is imperative that regardless of the economy in which they operate, service providers invest in innovative hybrid solutions to deliver more valuable content, to attract new subscribers and continue delivering revenue growth and profitability.”

“Undertaking this research paper as part of the Pay-TV Innovation Forum has highlighted significant fragmentation within the Asia Pacific pay-TV sector, particularly in the dichotomy between the different markets,” said Jon Watts, managing partner at MTM. “It’s clear that service providers are noticeably driven by their local market in terms of what innovations they can deliver to consumers, whether it’s HD video in Emerging markets or 4K in more advanced areas.”

The new Pay-TV Innovation Forum paper titled “The Pay-TV Innovation Landscape in Asia Pacific” provides a snapshot of the varying state of innovation across the region and of industry perspectives. It is the second in the series reporting on the state of the global pay-TV industry. Future editions will focus on innovation within Latin America and North America and will be published over the next few weeks in addition to the already published European edition, with a final paper to be presented at the 2016 IBC Conference.