Pay TV Services Added 254M Subscribers Between 2010 and 2016

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While some countries are seeing pay TV losses due to streaming competitors, the industry shows strong global numbers. According to London-based Digital TV Research Limited, the pay TV industry grew from 715.4 million subscribers around the world in 2010 to 969.0 million at the end of 2016. That's a gain of 254 million paying customers.

When researchers break down the numbers, they see that not all pay TV categories are doing equally well. The biggest gains came from digital cable, which improved by 255.7 million subscribers over that period. Analog cable saw the only loss, dropping by 218.2 million subscribers. Smaller gains game from IPTV (134.5 million subscribers), satellite (76.6 million subscribers), and digital terrestrial television (DTT; 5,1 million subscribers).

At the end of 2016, digital cable had 448.8 million global subscribers, and was by far the largest category among all free and paid household TV options. Next up were free-to-air DTT households (258.5 million), pay satellite households (219.0 million), and analog terrestrial households (184.1 million).

Digital TV Research broke down the numbers geographically and found Asia Pacific is the biggest region for pay TV with 60 percent of all subscribers. China alone counts 313 million subscribers, or roughly a third of global pay TV subscribers.

Pay TV subscriptions fell in only nine countries. The U.S. lost 4.4 million in the given time period, while Italy lost 2.3 million. 

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