Connected TVs to Drive Over-the-Top Subscription Surge

May 19, 2015

New data from Juniper Research says that subscriber numbers to over-the-top (OTT) TV services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime will increase from 92.1 million in 2014, to 332.2 million globally by 2019. Continued growth in the North American market will see it remain as the leading region in terms of subscriber numbers, but closely followed by the Far East.

In its latest research, Mobile & Online TV & Video: OTT, IPTV & Connected Markets 2015-2019, Juniper found that consumers will favor connected TVs as their primary screen, especially when one considers the trend for watching long-form video on OTT subscription services.

The research observed that with the long lifecycle of TV's, previously "dumb" TVs will see an upsurge in becoming "connected" due to the cost-effectiveness of devices such as Chromecast, and Amazon's Fire TV Stick, as well as games consoles and STBs which provide preloaded services. This is in contrast to smart TVs, which currently offer poor operating systems and user interfaces.

The threat from OTT services has notably forced Verizon's hand into bundling cheaper packages, minus sports channels. This has led to incumbents arguing among themselves, as well as enraging the sports TV providers ESPN and Fox Sports.

The report also found that 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. Additionally, IPTV subscriber numbers are forecast to grow by over 70% between 2014 and 2019.