Broadband set to surge

Over-the-top TV projected to grab $27.72 billion in 2017

Global over-the-top TV — broadband delivery of audio and video untethered to multichannel video program distributors — will surge over the next five years, according to a report from U.K.-based Digital TV Research.

Worldwide revenues for the fixed-broadband OTT category, which excludes smartphones and tablets, will hit $27.72 billion in 2017, up from the $11.14 billion projected for this year and the $3.79 billion posted in 2010.

The report says that 480 million households in 40 countries will watch online television and video, up from 182 million two years ago. U.S. OTT will post revenue of close to $11 billion five years from now, up from a little more than $2 billion in 2010.

But the U.S. share of the global OTT revenue will decline from 53% in 2010 to 38% in 2017 as activity picks up in the rest of the world. In China, for example, online TV and video revenues will climb from only $49 million two years ago to almost $2.1 billion in 2017.

The lion’s share of the projected 2017 OTT revenue will come from advertising. But ads will shrink from 65% of the pie in 2010 to 51% in 2017. Five years out, Digital TV Research estimates that subscriptions to content providers will account for about 24% of 2017 OTT revenue, rentals, 9.5% and download-to-own, 15.2%.