Technology | Media | Telecommunications

Monday, May 25, 2015

Global OTT Video Subscribers will Reach 332.2 Million

The growing popularity of watching online entertainment has meant that viewing video via the public internet has become a much more widespread activity in many people's lives, particularly the younger demographic that demonstrates little interest in the traditional pay-TV experience.

Worldwide subscribers to all over-the-top (OTT) video entertainment services -- such as Netflix and Amazon Prime -- will increase from 92.1 million in 2014 to 332.2 million by 2019, according the the latest market study by Juniper Research.

Continued growth within the North American market will see it remain as the leading region, in terms of total subscribers, but closely followed by the Far East, as this region emerges with new services and rapidly growing consumer interest.

In its latest global market assessment, Juniper found that consumers will still favor Connected TVs as their primary screen -- especially for watching long-form video delivered via OTT subscription services.

Their research observed that given the long life-cycle of TV ownership, previously 'dumb' TVs will see an upsurge in becoming 'connected' -- due to the availability of low-cost devices such as Google Chromecast and the Amazon Fire TV Stick.


Juniper also forecasts the continued high uptake of video games consoles and streaming video set-top boxes (such as Roku) which provide pre-loaded services via apps. This alternative device adoption is in contrast to the typical Smart TV, which currently offers a less-intuitive user interface.

Besides, traditional pay-TV service providers cannot afford to ignore the popular demand for the growing number of streaming video entertainment subscription and video-on-demand service offerings.

For example, Juniper believes that the growing threat from OTT video services has notably forced Verizon's hand into bundling less-expensive pay-TV packages, minus the expensive sports channels.

This has led to pay-TV incumbents arguing among themselves, as well as enraging the American sports TV networks, such as ESPN which is owned by Disney. Meanwhile, the progressive OTT providers continue to strengthen their market position with mainstream consumer groups.

Other key findings from the market study include:
  • Ad spend on Video on Demand is to grow almost fourfold by 2019, with the Far East and China dominating the market by the end of the forecast period.
  • IPTV subscriber numbers are forecast to grow by over 70 percent between 2014 and 2019.