2020 vision: Near ubiquity for digital TV worldwide

The global conversion to digital TV will be nearly complete by 2020, with China counting more than 460 million digital homes, or about 27% of the global total, new research says.

Digital TV Research, in its Digital TV World Household Forecasts report, said nearly 98% of TV households will be digital by the end of the decade, an increase of 45% from the more than two-thirds of TV households today. Penetration stood at just 41% in 2010.

The report looked at 138 countries and said 94 (68%) likely would be fully digital by 2020, with an additional 30 having digital penetration of at least 90%. Just 12 countries in the world were considered fully digital in 2013.

Digital TV households are expected to reach 1.68 billion by 2020, with at least 131 million digital homes to be created this year alone.

The bulk of the global adds will come from cable operators transitioning their analog service offerings into digital. Some 258 million of the 762 million digital TV homes to be added between 2013 and 2020 are expected to come from digital cable.

This year, the report said, digital cable will become the most popular TV platform in the world; some 34% of the world’s TV households will be served by digital cable by 2020, compared to 21% in 2013.

IPTV also is expected to see a windfall during the digital conversion, with pay IPTV more than doubling to 191 million homes. Penetration will exceed 20% in 20 nations. Overall, it will be in 11% of TV households, up from less than 3% in 2010.
APAC will see a significant digital growth spurt, adding 501 new digital TV households between 2013 and 2020, almost two-thirds of the total expected to be added globally.

The report also said:

  • Pay digital satellite TV penetration will be 16% by 2020, with penetration topping 30% in 19 countries.
  • About 26% of homes will be primary FTA DTT, up from 11% in 2013. By 2020, FTA DTT penetration will exceed more than half the TV households in 41 countries.
  • India will add 118 million digital TV homes between 2013 and 2020, moving past the U.S. into second place in 2015.
  • Brazil will take fourth place and Russia fifth by 2020. Both will more than double their digital TV totals.

Stay tuned.

Jim O’Neill is Editor of Videomind and Principal Analyst at Brightcove. You can follow him on Twitter @JimONeillMedia and on LinkedIn