Dataxis: 40 Pay TV Operators with Android STBs in Q3 2017

Dataxis research has found that around 40 worldwide pay TV operators have deployed Android set-top-boxes (STB) in the third quarter of 2017. Android is generally used by operators wishing to create more “over-the-top (OTT) friendly” pay TV offers as well as pure OTT services.

Dataxis research also shows that the actual number of subscribers with Android STBs remains limited. For example, in Europe, in the third quarter, less than 1% of pay TV subscribers are using an STB running an Android operating system. However, two-thirds of these operators started up in 2017 and deployments have just begun. Most recently, Rostelecom, the major Russian operator, announced a tender for the supply of one million Android STBs.

Number of Operators Offering an Android STB

Finally, Android TV is not only growing in the pay TV environment, but also at the retail market level and in Smart TVs. At the retail level, many users have found ways to use Android STBs to access pirated content. According to the Federation Against Copyright Theft in the UK, over one million boxes running an Android OS have been sold via the retail market over the past two years, with 25% of users admitting to having accessed pirated content with it. Smart TV vendors using Android TV include Sony, Skyworth, TCL, Philips and Sharp among the well-known brands, while the two market leaders Samsung and LG choose to use their own OS.

Analyst Comment

There has been a big change in the attractiveness since the ‘re-boot’ of the Android TV technology a couple of years ago to make it more of a regulated platform than the standard Android environment. The big attraction is, of course, access to a huge range of apps on the platform with relatively little support from the set maker. (BR)