This year’s hottest Christmas gift item: an OTT TV subscription

Credit: MORTAZZA /

Did your holiday tradition include sitting around the box and watching a classic like Miracle on 34th Street or The Muppet Christmas Carol?  Well the box/screen might have changed, but it seems TV is still all the rage for Christmas, but this year it might just be OTT TV.

In its second annual global report, subscriber management specialist Paywizard has found that OTT pay-TV is rocketing, with on-demand subscriptions more than doubling in a year and poised to soar even higher over Christmas.

The study, conducted by Research Now, found that the percentage of consumers globally with OTT subscriptions has leapt from 25% to 45% in just a year with more people planning to sign up prior to Christmas and nearly three-fifths of planned to watch more TV over the coming Christmas period. Nearly a third intended to subscribe to pay-OTT services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Instant Video and Hulu in the run-up to Christmas this year, up from 27% in 2015.

Existing pay-OTT subscribers per territory (Graphic: Business Wire)

Operators and OTT TV

They say if you can’t beat them, try joining them. That’s exactly what Singtel and StarHub are doing with over-the-top content services, which are sucking the life out of their pay-TV businesses.

According to OCBC Investment Research, Singapore’s pay-TV market has been on a decline since 1Q15 when total subscribers reached 968k across both Singtel and StarHub’s platform. Since then, total pay-TV subscribers have fallen to 919k as of end-3Q16. The majority of the loss between the said period came from StarHub, which lost 38k subscribers in contrast with Singtel’s 11k subscriber lost.

“In our view, we believe the key reason for the fall in pay-TV subscribers is mainly due to the increasing adoption by consumers in using OTT content service providers like Netflix,” the brokerage firm noted.

With this, Singtel and StarHub are now competing in the OTT TV space with their own mobile TV apps, Cast and Starhub Go, respectively. [Singtel is also a key investor in regional Netflix competitor Hooq. – Ed.]

Paywizard’s OTT TV isn’t just for Christmas: The Gift that Keeps on Giving report indicates that despite global OTT brands Netflix and Amazon Prime driving pay-OTT growth, there was also a trend – indeed, opportunity – for local operators to act as native challenger brands. The research cited Foxtel Play in Australia, Maxdome in Germany and Now TV in the UK as showing strong potential, with 32%, 22%, and 19% respectively of first-time subscribers planning to sign up to these services this Christmas.

More Here [RapidTV] [Yahoo]

This article first appeared on PricingDataPlans

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