Half of the world will be watching OTT by 2020

Almost half of the world’s TV homes will be watching over the top TV services by 2020, with China leading the way, according to new research.

UK-based analysis house Digital TV Research forecasts that the number of people watching OTT TV over fixed networks will hit 706.5 million by 2020, 47% of the total number of TV homes.

To put the forecasts into context, about 196 million accessed OTT services in 2010 and the 2014 total is expected to be 374.4 million.

The bulk of the new OTT homes – 61% of the global additions – will come in the Asia Pacific region. China alone will add140 million OTT viewers, meaning it will account for 220 million of the 706.5 million total in 2020.

China will overtake the US in terms of the number of OTT viewers this year and by 2020 will have more OTT viewers than all of Europe.

As a proportion of TV homes, South Korea will lead the way in 2020, with 79.8% of the country’s homes accessing an OTT service.

The bulk of the OTT viewers will be watching free, ad-supported services, according to Digital TV Research. It said 199 million of the 2020 total will pay to access an SVOD service, which equates to 13.4% of all homes. That compares with an end-2014 forecast of 6.1% of all homes taking an SVOD package.