Pay TV EST: A necessary expansion of the operator business as competition rises

June 20, 2018  | Subscribers Only

Fateha Begum Fateha Begum Associate Director, Connected Devices & Media Consumption
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This report analyses the performance of pay TV EST to date, examining operator strategies and shifts in consumption patterns that are driving EST launches. 


  • Pay TV video-on-demand (VoD) rental revenues are under threat from the rise of free and subscription content available on-demand across pay TV and online platforms as consumers increasingly expect content to be made available on-demand, at little or no additional cost
  • VoD has become a key focus area for operators competing with new players, with heavy investment in content and set-top box functionality crucial for gaining an edge over online video services
  • A number of key pay TV operators enable the purchase of movies and TV content via the set-top box. Although take-up remains relatively low, electronic sell-through (EST) is a step towards maintaining operators’ positions in the crowded entertainment space and protecting revenue losses from a stagnant or declining pay TV rental market. 
  • Pay TV EST has seen the largest growth on operator platforms that have experienced declines in rental revenues; helping to recoup some of this loss while keeping customers engaged on their platform. Some pay TV operators have also reduced the price differential between rentals and EST content to help boost purchases at the expense of rental VoD.
  • Pay TV EST allows operators and content owners to maximise revenues in the transactional VoD window, a key advantage pay TV operators have over online subscription video services that are often required to wait a number of years for films.
  • IHS Markit expects pay TV operators to leverage their EST rights across devices in the coming years, embracing online distribution to widen their reach and revenue opportunities. 

List of tables and charts:

  • Global: Pay TV and Online Video Subscriptions (m)
  • Importance of on-demand in choice of video service
  • Global Transactional Movies & TV Revenue ($m)
  • UK: Pay TV VoD Movies & TV Revenue ($000s)
  • US: Pay TV On-Demand Homes & Transactions
  • US: Pay TV VoD Movies & TV Revenue ($m)
  • France: Pay TV VoD Movies & TV Revenue ($000s)
  • OSN: Pay TV VoD Movies & TV Revenue ($000s)
  • 'First choice for video content' by country

Number of pages: 11

Number of tables and charts: 9

Fateha Begum

Associate Director, Connected Devices & Media Consumption

Fateha Begum is an associate director of the Service Providers & Platforms team at IHS Markit, and heads research in the area of connected devices and media consumption trends.

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