Asia-Pacific DTH pay-TV subs grew 9% in 2014 to more than 61 million in 2014, while industry revenue rose by 5% to top US$9 billion, according to the latest analysis published by Media Partners Asia (MPA).
India, Malaysia and the Philippines remain strong DTH markets, although Indonesia, Korea and Japan are coming under increased pressure.
MPA projections indicate that total Asia-Pacific DTH industry revenue will grow at a 7% CAGR to reach US$12.5 billion by 2019 and thereafter grow to ~US$15 billion by 2023, with significant upside coming from HD and VOD-driven value added services.
DTH’s share of total pay-TV subs in Asia-Pacific will grow from 12% to 22% over the next 10 years.
In recent years, DTH has experienced a significant phase of growth in Asia, driven by expansion in India, Southeast Asia and Korea.
However, the growth of broadband, IPTV and OTT is placing a natural limit on future growth, while macro concerns and aggressive competition are also challenging.
India will remain the most important market for DTH pay-TV in Asia-Pacific.
MPA estimates that India’s active DTH subscriber base will grow from 41 million in 2014 to 75 million by 2023.
Industry economics will be bolstered by an increased contribution from high-Arpu HD subscribers, upselling SD subscribers to high-value packs, and a higher uptake of value-added services.
Notes MPA India VP Mihir Shah: “Dish TV has started to have more earnings momentum, Tata Sky continues to lead subs growth, Airtel has delivered stellar results and Videocon d2h is now listed on Nasdaq, so the DTH industry has a currency that reflects its improving fundamentals.”
The Philippines has emerged as a strong market for DTH growth in recent years, driven by Cignal and Gsat. DTH pay-TV subs reached 1.06 million in 2014 and will rise three times over the next decade, with future upside coming from significant HD growth and package upselling, which will help boost Arpu.
DTH will also play an important role in the growth of pay-TV in Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Vietnam, but its growth remains capped in Indonesia and Thailand.
In Indonesia however, there could be significantly more upside if leading operators convert the existing free satellite market to pay-TV (starting with a low-cost offer) and program more premium local pay channels.
In Thailand, conversion of free satellite to bona fide pay-TV will significantly alter market dynamics if it actually occurs.
In Malaysia, DTH will retain a dominant chunk of the pay-TV market, driven by Astro with the adoption of HD and DVR services as well as VOD and the emergence of premium vernacular and Asian content. All of this will help boost Arpu growth.