Technology | Media | Telecommunications

Friday, November 30, 2012

The Key Trends in Global Smart TV Set Demand

Despite a seven percent year-over-year dip in global TV shipments, retail sales in North America have been steady and unit shipments were up by almost 3 percent in the third quarter of 2012 -- after posting small declines in the first half of 2012.

The trend in the U.S. market has been toward bigger and less expensive TVs, which is expected to be the focus during the holiday season.

"Inventory has been building overtime to a level that will satisfy the demand," said Paul Gagnon, director of global TV research at NPD DisplaySearch.

The following is a summary of the findings from the latest NPD DisplaySearch market study.

Worldwide TV shipments fell on a Y/Y basis for the fourth straight quarter, as demand in Japan and Western Europe fell sharply. TV shipments in Japan were down over 70 percent Y/Y for the second quarter in a row, while Western Europe shipments fell more than 15 percent.

Flat panel TV growth in emerging regions were lower than expected, especially in Asia Pacific, where the Indian TV market looks to decline in Q3’12, due to little retail set price erosion.

TV shipments in China grew over 13 percent Y/Y in Q3’12 as set makers anticipated demand for TVs during the Golden Week holidays in October. Growth was also helped by the new energy efficiency rebate program that started in June. Both factors led Chinese TV makers to increase production.

As plasma TV shipments continue to decline, LCD remains the dominant flat panel TV technology, capturing a 16 percent Q/Q increase in unit shipments. However, overall LCD TV unit sales fell in Q3’12, down 1 percent Y/Y.

This marks three straight quarters of annual Y/Y shipment declines. Even with a growing share, the overall level of demand worldwide continues to fall in 2012, impacting LCD shipments.

LED LCD TV shipments continue to climb, exceeding 70 percent of units and 80 percent of revenues for total global TV shipments. North America had the lowest LED and 3D shipment penetration of any region worldwide since these consumers are most interested in screen size and price.

Large screen sizes also continue to have strong growth, with the average shipped TV size increasing more than 6 percent to 35.8 inch -- that's the highest growth yet.

In the coming weeks, I'll share the findings from my own personal experience of researching and selecting a new 50 inch smart TV set and companion blu-ray disc player -- both are enabled with 3D capabilities. I'll also describe my preference for downloaded apps, having trialed several entertainment oriented OTT service offerings.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Rise of the Global Mobile Data Roaming Empire

Juniper Research forecasts that mobile data roaming revenues will grow by 21 percent per year between 2012 and 2017, reaching over $35 billion in 2017 -- driven by an increasing number of active roamers using data services while abroad.

However, Juniper notes that the number of people not actively using any data services still fear the unknown cost of mobile network provider fees, as this continues to be markedly higher when compared to potential voice roamers.

Silent roamers, as they are called, exercise caution or do not use voice and data services while roaming and represent a significant non-user segment.

Powered by the proliferation in smartphones and a dramatic growth in data usage, data roaming is being seen as a key growth driver for mobile network operators -- albeit with cost-effective packages coupled with subscriber control over usage.

The Juniper market study found that the majority of mobile customers were using voice services when roaming abroad, but this activity offered network operators little opportunity to add value or enhance services.

Data roaming, on the other hand, provided operators with the opportunity to convert non-data roamers to become active data roamers by the introduction of data service bundles and other attractive roaming plans.

The Juniper market study report observed that as data roaming revenues grow, and instant messaging apps proliferate, SMS roaming adoption and revenue growth will remain modest, relative to data and voice revenues.

"As data roaming costs are further reduced and smartphone owners find Over-the-Top services -- such as eBuddy and Whatsapp -- a cheaper alternative, the average spend on SMS roaming will decline over the forecast period," said Nitin Bhas, senior analyst at Juniper Research.

Other key findings from the market study include:
  • Total mobile roaming revenues to exceed $80 billion by 2017, compared to over $46 billion this year.
  • Western Europe will account for the highest proportion of the global mobile data roaming revenue.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Home Automation Market is Primed for Expansion

The global market for home automation services grew significantly during 2012, primarily driven by a wave of new entrants and offerings in the North American market.

According to the latest market study by ABI Research, the U.S. in particular leads in deployments and new shipments -- acting as a bellwether for markets around the world.

Even within the low growth American economy and the lackluster new housing market, home automation systems installed in the U.S. this year almost doubled over 2011 shipments.

In 2017, more than 8 million home automation systems will ship -- representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 45.2 percent between 2011 and 2017.

Over the past 12 months, Verizon has rolled out its service offering, leading U.S. cable companies -- including Comcast and Time Warner -- have expanded their footprints and security vendors including ADT and Vivint continued to see strong demand for their solutions.

"Home automation adoption is moving into the mainstream as a combination of home connectivity, standardization, and a range of new sensors and devices bring an ever expanding number of players into the market," says Jonathan Collins, principal analyst at ABI Research.

Meanwhile existing players are adapting their offerings and a host of technologies and connectivity options are battling to become de facto standards.

These findings are part of ABI Research’s Home Automation and Smart Cities Research Services, which include Research Reports, Market Data, Insights, and Competitive Assessments.

Their Home Automation service examines the market for monitoring and control technologies used for automation applications in the home -- including home energy management, connected appliances, home security management, home healthcare, entertainment, and lighting control.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Americans View 37 Billion Videos in October 2012

comScore released data showing that 183 million U.S. Internet users watched more than 37 billion online content videos in October, while video advertising views reached nearly 11 billion.

Google Sites, driven primarily by video viewing at YouTube.com, ranked as the top online American video content property in October with 153.2 million unique viewers, followed by Yahoo! Sites with 55.3 million, NDN with 53.2 million, VEVO with 53.1 million and AOL, Inc. with 53.1 million.

More than 37 billion video content views occurred during the month, with Google Sites generating the highest number at 13 billion, followed by AOL, Inc. with 711 million.

Google Sites had the highest average engagement among the top ten properties.

Americans viewed nearly 11 billion video ads in October, with each of the top 5 video ad properties delivering more than 1-billion video ads.

BrightRoll Video Network captured first place with more than 1.8 billion ads, followed by Google Sites with more than 1.7 billion, Hulu with 1.5 billion, Liverail.com with 1.2 billion and Adap.tv with 1.1 billion.

Time spent watching video ads totaled 3.8 billion minutes, with BrightRoll Video Network delivering the highest duration of video ads at 897 million minutes. Video ads reached 52 percent of the total U.S. population an average of 68 times during the month.

Hulu delivered the highest frequency of video ads to its viewers with an average of 59, while Google Sites delivered an average of 19 ads per viewer.

The October 2012 YouTube partner data revealed that video music channel VEVO maintained the top position in the ranking with 52.2 million viewers. Machinima climbed into the #2 position with 35.1 million viewers, followed by Maker Studios Inc. with 28.9 million, Warner Music with 26.3 million and Fullscreen with 25.1 million.

Among the top 10 YouTube partners, Machinima demonstrated the highest engagement (49 minutes per viewer) followed by VEVO (39 minutes per viewer). VEVO streamed the greatest number of videos (603 million), followed by Machinima (521 million).

Other findings from the October 2012 study include:
  • 86 percent of the U.S. Internet audience viewed online video.
  • The duration of the average online content video was 6.1 minutes, while the average online video ad was 0.4 minutes.
  • Video ads accounted for 22.6 percent of all videos viewed and 1.6 percent of all minutes spent viewing video online.

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Mobile Coupon Ecosystem will Expand in 2013

The number of consumers receiving coupons via mobile devices is expected to rise by 30 percent in 2013 to more than 500 million people, according to the latest market study by Juniper Research.

They believe that continued growth in mobile coupon usage will in part be fueled by the integration of couponing platforms into the the leading social network sites -- such as Facebook.

The recent high-profile launch of Apple Passbook is also expected to act as a catalyst to both coupon deployments and user adoption.

For example, the marketing services provider Valassis has recently launched a "Red Plum Social Savings" application in the U.S. market -- which was built with the Facebook platform.

Meanwhile, third-party marketing and couponing providers -- such as Codebroker, Eagle Eye, Yowza! and Valpak -- have already created apps or microsites which deliver vouchers to Apple's Passbook.

In the current mobile coupon marketplace, there is the potential for overlap -- an ecosystem player may choose to act in more than one role.


Furthermore, Juniper observed that increasingly consumer product brands were transitioning from using coupons purely to drive retail visitors, to strategies designed to develop longer-term relationships with consumers.

It found that delivery and redemption data analytics were now being used not merely to assess the progress of a mobile marketing campaign, but to gauge what offers could be tailored to which individuals.

However, Juniper also cautioned that retailer reluctance to upgrade in-store Point of Sale (POS) terminals for authentication and redemption was creating a bottleneck, effectively suppressing the deployment of mobile coupons.

"POS terminals can have a lifespan of a decade or more, so understandably retailers are wary about disrupting the terminal lifecycle and investing in new technology -- whether NFC or barcode scanner -- without being able to demonstrate a clear return on that investment," said Dr. Windsor Holden, research director at Juniper Research.

Other key findings from the market study include:
  • Mobile coupon redemption patterns are shifting, with consumers increasingly storing the coupon on the device rather than redeeming straightaway.
  • China has experienced a huge uplift in mobile coupon adoption over the past year, with one couponing app alone -- Dianping -- downloaded more than 40 million times.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Exploring the Media Tablet Adoption within Europe


Some of the largest traditional PC manufacturers reported record revenue and profit declines in the last quarter, as desktop and notebook sales continue to slide downward. Clearly, the bright outlook for the media tablet upside will not benefit those vendors that failed to grasp the significance of this market transition.

Moreover, some regions of the world will present greater challenges than others. Take Europe, as an example. According to the latest assessment by eMarketer, two countries in the EU-5 that are being impacted by the dramatic financial turmoil in the region are understandably posting the slowest adoption of tablets.

Although tablet growth in each country was above 100 percent during 2011, and users will double again this year, that's considered minimal progress when compared to their peers in Western Europe -- according to the latest estimates by eMarketer.

France grew their tablet user base by 173 percent in 2011. In 2012, Germany's base will grow 149 percent, after growing 144 percent last year.

Although the UK will not post the highest growth in either year, it will still outpace Italy and Spain -- despite already having the highest raw number of users and the highest tablet penetration.

eMarketer believes that lower-priced tablets will boost uptake somewhat in the depressed southern European countries. In 2013, Italy and Spain will see tablet users grow by 56 percent -- that's the fastest growth among the EU-5.

Italy will rise from 6.3 million users in 2012 to 9.8 million in 2013, and Spain will similarly jump from 6 million users this year to 9.3 million next year.

That will be enough to grow share of the market in Italy and Spain by 2 percentage points in 2013, to account for 33.7 percent of total users in the EU-5 -- but that's still down from their 2010 share of 38.4 percent.

There's one tablet user metric by which the countries are actually among the front-runners in the EU-5. Italy and Spain will post the second- and third-highest tablet user penetration, respectively, in terms of internet users this year.

In 2013, they will be number one and number two in the region. According to eMarketer, they will maintain that ranking throughout the forecast period.

Ranking overall user adoption, however, can be complicated by current usage trends. Meaning, tablets tend to be shared among several users within households. So, while one person may actually own the device, it is likely that other people in the household will use it regularly.

That being said, eMarketer believes that media tablet sharing is less likely in those European countries with higher income levels -- such as Germany and the UK.

Therefore, even if market penetration levels in Italy and Spain indicate that they lead in tablet usage among all internet users, the total number of devices owned are likely higher in the UK and Germany.

Furthermore, the relatively low internet penetration in Italy and mid-level penetration in Spain help to drive up tablet penetration among internet users. Relative to the internet user population as a whole, tablet penetration in Spain will rank second in 2012, while Italy will apparently rank last.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Evolving Applications for Location Based Services

The media tablet and digital camera markets are forecast to be the next high growth driver for location based services (LBS) and global positioning system (GPS) integrated circuits (ICs) -- despite the relatively slow growth to date.

The latest market study by ABI Research resulted in an updated forecast for the evolving application of LBS and how it will affect the adoption of location-related technologies.

So far, the tablet market has been somewhat led by Apple and its GPS/Modem strategy. GPS shipments are forecast to reach 37 million in 2012, yet that is still much less than had been previously anticipated.

There has been mixed progress of late, with the launch of the Google Nexus 7 and the Apple iPad mini. Wi-Fi location technology is a standard feature across all media tablets. But while it is complementary, it does sometimes act as a barrier to GPS integration.

"When we look at the adoption of applications on tablets, it is forecast to largely mirror that of smartphones, with a focus on local search, social, enterprise, navigation, and ambient intelligence," said Patrick Connolly, senior analyst at ABI Research.

Google Android will lead the way, as ubiquitous location becomes a necessary component of new mobile device designs. Moreover, the digital camera market has huge potential, with geo-tagging a clear driver of new applications.

With over 30 GPS-enabled cameras on the market, shipments are expected to break 10 million in 2013, and a second wave of new applications emerging around tracking, Maps/POI, and dead-reckoning.

As an industry, there needs to be a complete overhaul of how digital cameras are designed -- to find a way to fully leverage the photography usage already occurring on smartphones.

ABI Research has forecast that this product evolution will open the market to GPS, alternative location, and LBS in future. The launch of the Sony Vita was expected to ignite the location-based gaming (LBG) industry, featuring Wi-Fi location as standard, and an optional GPS/modem module.

However, irrespective of limited device sales, location-based gaming and community applications still have fundamental barriers concerning critical mass and where and how the device is used.

As a result, LBG is expected to initially flourish on smartphones, with GPS forecast to remain subdued on gaming devices. These findings are part of the ABI Research’s Location Based Services -- which includes research reports, market data, and related insights.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Big Benefits from Combining Small Cells and Wi-Fi

Small cells and Wi-Fi off-load are proven to be the most powerful tools that mobile network operators have to increase data communication capacity for their subscribers.

These technologies enable them to meet the demand from a growing number of customers who use smartphones and tablets that are generating rapidly increasing mobile network traffic loads -- due largely to video content consumption.

According to the latest market study by Senza Fili, mobile network operators that deploy small cells and Wi-Fi concurrently can reduce their wireless data per-bit costs up to two-thirds -- when compared with legacy macro-cell costs.

Most mobile service providers don't get to choose whether to use small cells or Wi-Fi. To meet their capacity density targets in the high-traffic locations where subscribers gather, they need to deploy both small cells and Wi-Fi, side by side.

And subscribers demand both: Wi-Fi for fast and inexpensive wireless access, and cellular for mobility and coverage. The Senza Fili study explored the business model for the coexistence of small cells and Wi-Fi within the same network.

Operators not only stand to benefit from using both Wi-Fi and small cells to boost capacity, they also can reap additional gains by deploying both in the same small-cell enclosure -- thereby increasing the capacity of each small cell and integrating Wi-Fi traffic more tightly within the cellular network.


"By deploying LTE, 3G and Wi-Fi jointly as part of an integrated sublayer of small cells, operators can meet their capacity targets faster, leverage their existing Wi-Fi footprint, and significantly reduce their per-bit costs," says Monica Paolini, president of Senza Fili Consulting.

The business case for small cells can be challenging, especially for 3G. Adding Wi-Fi to small cells strengthens the business case. Senza Fili used a total-cost-of-ownership (TCO) model to calculate the overall benefits of the combined solution.

The key market study findings include:
  • TCO for small cells and Wi-Fi ranges from 10 to 25 percent of the TCO for a macro cell, depending on the configuration of the small cell.
  • Because Opex plays a much larger role than Capex in the small-cell business case, configurations that reduce Opex -- such as multi-sector and multi-interface small cells -- lead to a more robust business case.
  • The low marginal cost makes adding Wi-Fi, 3G or additional sectors to an LTE small cell an attractive proposition that reduces the number of sites a network operator must manage and increases capacity more rapidly.
  • Even at low densities, LTE small cells and Wi-Fi quickly take on a dominant role, relative to macro cells, in transporting mobile traffic.
  • Small cells and Wi-Fi enable operators to slash per-bit TCO by at least half. By combining cellular and Wi-Fi, operators can cut the per-bit TCO to a third of the TCO of macro cells.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Tablet Market Share Fuels the Android Ecosystem

Worldwide media tablet shipments totaled 27.8 million units in the third quarter of 2012 (3Q12), according to the latest updated market study by International Data Corporation (IDC).

The tablet market grew 49.5 percent year-over-year in the third quarter of 2012 and 6.7 percent over the second quarter of 2012. Once again, Google Android-based tablet shipments -- led by Samsung and Amazon -- surged during the quarter. In contrast, the Apple market share retreated significantly.

"After a very strong second quarter, Apple saw growth slow as both consumer and commercial (including education) shipments declined, and rumors of a forthcoming iPad mini began to heat up," said Tom Mainelli, research director, Tablets at IDC.

IDC says that they believe a sizeable percentage of consumers interested in buying an Apple tablet sat out the third quarter in anticipation of an announcement about the new iPad mini.

Now that the new mini, and a fourth-generation full-sized iPad, are both shipping they expect Apple to recover somewhat. However, they also believe the Apple mini's relatively high $329 starting price enables savvy Google Android vendors to build upon the success they've already achieved.

Apple's slowdown resulted in a sizeable decline of the company's commanding worldwide market share for tablets, which slipped from 65.5 percent in 2Q12 to 50.4 percent in 3Q12. The remaining top five tablet vendors all gained share during the quarter as a result.

Most notable was the impressive quarterly results from Samsung -- driven by its ever-growing portfolio of tablets. Samsung shipped 5.1 million tablets worldwide in 3Q12, up 115.0 percent from 2Q12 -- that's an increase of 325.0 percent from 3Q11, when it shipped 1.2 million tablets.

The top 5 was rounded out by Amazon, ASUS, and Lenovo -- with all three vendors experiencing sequential growth over 2Q12 while Lenovo and ASUS also saw solid year-over-year growth. Amazon, which did not have product in 3Q11, announced new 7-inch and 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD tablets late in the quarter, and began shipping the new 7-inch HD version (in addition to a refreshed version of the original 7-inch Fire) in mid-September.

This helped grow its worldwide market share from 4.8 percent in 2Q12 to 9.0 percent in 3Q12, despite only shipping in the U.S. (the company began shipping into five additional countries in 4Q12). The ASUS share growth was backed by strong shipments of its Google-branded Nexus 7 device; Lenovo's gains were driven by strong shipments in China.

Samsung excelled in the second quarter. The company now offers a wide range of media tablet across multiple screen sizes and colors, and that attracted more buyers. Its growth to 18.4 percent of worldwide market share during the quarter represents the first time a competitor has attained this level of share since the original launch of the iPad.

We'll have to wait and see if the upcoming holiday season provides an opportunity for further market share gains across the whole Google Android ecosystem.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Outlook for Mobile Augmented Reality Applications

According to the latest market study by Juniper Research, as marketers and retailers are increasingly keen to deploy Augmented Reality (AR) capabilities within their mobile apps and marketing materials, AR applications will generate close to $300 million in revenues globally by 2013.

Juniper assessed how the mobile augmented reality industry has evolved over the past 18 months, as the key players look to specialize and strengthen their business models.

Their market study highlights that while the traditional pay-per-download payment model would continue to account for the largest share of revenues in the near term, the scale of retailer engagement with AR suggested that advertiser spend had up-scaled dramatically in 2012 -- and was poised for further growth next year.

Moreover, Juniper also found that many retailers now perceived AR as a key means of increasing engagement with their customers, both as a means of providing additional product information or in the form of branded virtual games and activities.

That being said, Juniper cautioned that while a lack of consumer awareness of AR remained a key hurdle which needs to be overcome, it was by no means the only barrier to continued growth.

Their assessment of the current environment is that technological limitations of AR-enablers -- such as the phone camera, GPS, digital compasses and markerless tracking -- meant that in many cases, the AR experience was failing to live up to consumer expectations.

Apparently, during Juniper's assessment, even some higher-end smartphone cameras lacked sufficient sensitivity to trigger an AR experience unless light conditions were optimal.

Furthermore, the need to recalibrate digital compasses -- allied to poor in-building functionality of GPS -- means that under certain circumstances the level of location accuracy would not be sufficient for many potential corporate applications.

As a result of their findings, Juniper stated that enterprise adoption of AR apps would likely be somewhat limited in the near term.

Other key findings from the Juniper report include:
  • More than 2.5 billion AR apps to be downloaded to smartphones and tablets per annum by 2017, with games accounting for the largest share of downloads.
  • AR is increasingly being deployed in prototype wearable devices, with Google Glass the most high-profile innovation.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Slow Progress Reaching OLED TV Set Momentum

Despite the high expectations for the entry of OLED (organic light emitting diode) displays into the television market during 2012, these TV sets will likely now only be available in very small quantities by the end of this year.

With 55" OLED TV demonstrations featured at CES in January 2012, commercial products were expected in time for the Olympics in August. But as the year progressed, the possibility of commercialization in 2012 was being questioned -- due to mass production challenges and expected high retail prices.

In September, OLED TVs were once again demonstrated at IFA in Berlin, and even at some local retailers, but were still not commercially available.

According to the latest market study by NPD DisplaySearch, OLED TV panel makers and set manufacturers are still forecasting that at least 500 OLED TVs will ship in 2012. While this is a very small quantity in comparison to the total TV market, the start of shipments will be an important breakthrough.


OLED TV manufacturers need to make a statement as the LCD TV market shifts to larger screen sizes and higher resolutions.

"If we do see OLED TVs reach the market within 2012, the shipments will be used primarily for retail demonstrations in developed regions like North America and Europe," said David Hsieh, vice president at NPD Display Search. "4K × 2K LCD TVs have has become a focus and are currently available, and OLED TV needs to demonstrate its technical superiority."

NPD DisplaySearch forecasts that OLED TV panel production will remain low, as LG and Samsung continue their efforts to increase production yields. Following in the footsteps of Korean panel manufacturers, Taiwan, China and Japan will begin AMOLED TV panel production in 2014 -- when OLED TV shipments will pass one million units.

By 2016, OLED penetration of the TV market is forecast to exceed 3 percent.

NPD highlights several key challenges including:
  • Technical challenges in manufacturing large OLED panels -- for example 55” --for TV as opposed to small (less than 5”) panels currently being made in high volumes for smartphones.
  • Manufacturing limitations of having only two Gen 8 OLED lines for TV panels, both still in pilot mode, with low manufacturing yields that keep costs high and limit the ability to meet demand.
  • High retail price, which will initially be around $10,000 for a 55” OLED TV.
  • Potential competition from 4K × 2K (ultra-high definition) LCD TVs, which are being developed by panel makers in Taiwan, China, and Japan, while their Korean counterparts have been focused on OLED TV panels.
  • Timing of market entry: Samsung and LG have developed strong positions in OLED technology and manufacturing capacity, but it is not clear if other panel makers can catch up to them.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Ad Spending on Real-Time Bidding will Reach $7.1B


What is advertiser Real-Time Bidding (RTB) and why does it matter to online marketers? Who benefits from real-time advertising buying? What factors and industry trends will affect future RTB growth? These are the key questions that eMarketer considered during their latest market study.

Real-time bidding will account for 13 percent of all U.S. display advertising spend in 2012 -- that's more than triple the market share in 2010, according to the eMarketer assessment.

Over the next few years, RTB will continue to gain momentum and share of online advertiser spend -- accounting for a quarter of the display market in 2015 -- as more media buyers and publishers benefit from its efficiencies.

This year, the overall American display advertising market will grow by 21.5 percent to $14.98 billion -- that's compared with $12.33 billion in 2011, according to eMarketer estimates. In the same year, growth in RTB spending, at 98 percent, will easily outpace display advertising.

Market research firms estimate that U.S. RTB digital display ad spending will total between $1.1 billion and $2.1 billion this year, driven by improvements in RTB technology and increased investment from both media buyers and online publishers.

eMarketer forecasts RTB ad spending will reach $1.9 billion in 2012 as both publishers and media buyers continue to adopt RTB technology. Beyond 2013, growth rates will slow as the programmatic buying landscape settles and matures. That being said, by 2016 American RTB ad spending is forecast to reach $7.1 billion.

There are four key influences that will determine the growth of RTB: maturation of the Facebook private ad exchange (FBX), an expected influx of video and mobile inventory, an anticipated greater availability of premium advertising inventory and an overarching demand for better transparency for all of digital display -- not just RTB.

eMarketer believes that as national and global brands look to programmatic buying to more efficiently identify and reach their target audiences for brand-lift measures, an influx of more brand marketing budget is also expected to fuel RTB ad spending.

Anticipated advancements in display ad placement transparency and in-view accountability, as well as a rise in the amount of premium inventory made available through exchange channels, will help pave the path to entry for some branding-conscious marketers.

eMarketer forms its forecast through an analysis of estimates from other research firms; survey results from brands, agencies and media publishers; digital and mobile advertising spending trends.

Friday, November 16, 2012

119.3 Million Americans Now Own a Smartphone

comScore released data about key trends in the U.S. mobile phone industry during the three month average period ending September 2012. The study surveyed more than 30,000 U.S. mobile subscribers and found Samsung to be the top handset manufacturer overall with 26 percent market share.

Smartphone penetration exceeded the 50 percent threshold for the first time, establishing a significant new milestone for developers who participate in the primary mobile app ecosystem. Google Android led that segment of the market with 52.5 percent of smartphone subscribers, while Apple accounted for 34.3 percent.

For the three-month average period ending in September, 234 million Americans age 13 and older used mobile devices. Device manufacturer Samsung ranked as the top OEM with 26 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers (up 0.4 percentage points), followed by LG with 17.7 percent share.

Apple continued to close in on the second OEM ranking -- with 17.5 percent of mobile subscribers (up 2.1 percentage points), followed by Motorola with 10.9 percent and HTC with 6.2 percent.

119.3 million people in the U.S. owned smartphones (51.0 percent mobile market penetration) during the three months ending in September, up 8 percent since June.

Google Android ranked as the top smartphone platform with 52.5 percent market share (up 0.9 percentage points), while Apple’s share increased 1.9 percentage points to 34.3 percent. RIM ranked third with 8.4 percent share, followed by Microsoft (3.6 percent) and Symbian (0.6 percent).

In September, 75.5 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers used text messaging on their mobile device (up 0.5 percentage points). Downloaded applications were used by 54 percent of subscribers (up 2.6 percentage points), while browsers were used by 52.6 percent (up 2.4 percentage points).

Accessing of social networking sites or blogs increased 2.1 percentage points to 39 percent of mobile subscribers. Game-playing was done by 34.4 percent of the mobile audience (up 1 percentage point), while 28.6 percent listened to music on their phones (up 1 percentage point).

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Over-the-Top Video Revenue to Reach $32B by 2017

By 2017, according to the latest market study by ABI Research, over-the-top (OTT) video entertainment service revenue will quadruple to $32 billion -- that's up from the expected $8.2 billion in 2012.

Monthly subscription services, such as Netflix, have led the OTT adoption trend the past couple of years, which has helped push the market towards healthy growth and sustained profit margins.

By 2014, however, ABI Research expects OTT on-demand rentals to surpass subscription revenues. The resulting impact on Cinema revenues is unknown at this time -- but we can anticipate a significant change, when more new releases are combined with the growing catalog of prior movies and documentaries.

"Connected consumer electronics (CE) and mobile devices continue to push consumer behavior towards newer forms of media distribution like OTT and multi-screen services, said Sam Rosen, practice director at ABI Research.

Pay-TV services will continue to thrive, by implementing multi-screen services and supporting OTT content. In the end, ABI expects an amalgamation of video entertainment services that complement each other will be attractive to many people.

In time, video advertising is expected to pick up momentum as ad revenue increasingly shifts to the OTT market. Connected CE and mobile or portable devices in particular present additional consumer touch-points -- enabling more creative ways for people to connect or interact with each other.

These devices are capturing more of our attention as many people claim to multitask while watching TV at home. Finding new ways to better engage them through OTT experiences, therefore, will prove increasingly important as consumers adopt new viewing behaviors.

"While many consumers today claim to use mobile and portable devices while watching TV, most of us are actuality poor at multitasking. In many cases this means consumers are more acutely aware about the content on their portable device than the TV, said Michael Inouye, senior analyst at ABI Research.

While second screen advertising -- on tablets or smartphones -- is not necessarily OTT content, it does highlight the importance of targeting these connected devices that extend the reach of content beyond the traditional TV set.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Outlook for Mobile Network Small Cells Deployment

As more mobile service providers plan to increase their 4G mobile network coverage, the small-cell phenomenon is gaining momentum. According to the latest market study by Informa Telecoms & Media, an important new milestone has been reached -- the global number of small cells now exceeds the total number of traditional mobile base stations.

Their latest market study shows that between October and November 2012, the number of small cells has surpassed 6 million (6,069,224) with macrocells worldwide totaling 5,925,974.

Although the bulk of these numbers (over 80 percent) are made up of residential femtocells, which will alone overtake the total number of macrocells early next year, they also include enterprise and public-access small cells.

There are now 45 small-cell network deployments -- including nine of the top 10 mobile network operators (ranked by revenue) globally.

This milestone was made possible as mature femtocell deployments start to scale and was best illustrated by Sprint which has now deployed one million femtocells -- that's up from 250,000 in 2011.

Informa also highlights how new femtocell deployments from Telefónica O2, Orange UK, and Bouygues Telecom over the summer of 2012 mean that the UK and France have become the first countries globally where all major operators have deployed the technology.

Telef√≥nica O2 has made significant public-access progress with the world’s densest femtocell deployment in east London for the Olympics, as well as the launch of public Wi-Fi in central London which will be upgraded imminently to support licensed small cells.

Their report also acknowledged the emergence of the Small Cell as a Service (SCaaS) model which allows third parties to roll out a small-cell network and then rent it to several mobile network operators -- thereby lowering the barrier to entry for deployment and total costs.

In this space over the past quarter, Virgin Media announced it is trialing LTE small cells in the UK ahead of launching its SCaaS offering and Colt Telecom announced it is already in trials with a major European operator.

Furthermore, two new companies -- Cloudberry Mobile and ClearSky -- have launched their own offerings in Europe and the U.S. market, respectively, targeting smaller mobile network operators.

"There are now more small cells than macrocells worldwide. The industry has passed a very important milestone and in the process changed the future direction of mobile networks. The days of small numbers of expensive cell towers have given way to the era of high numbers of low cost mini access points. Without this change, the mobile network simply could not sustain the continued growth in data usage," said Dimitris Mavrakis, principal analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media.

Such a dramatic network transformation opens up interesting new business models, and over the past quarter the SCaaS idea has been gaining traction. It allows third parties to build networks that several mobile operators can use, thereby reducing costs and time to market.

At the moment, this new model is being targeted at major mobile network operators that are looking for a simple route to establishing a small-cell network in urban areas, as well as smaller players that have found the barriers to entry too high to date.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Exploring the Next-Gen Wearable Devices Market

According to the latest market study by Juniper Research, the next generation wearable devices market will be worth more than $1.5 billion by 2014 -- that's up from just $800 million this year.

Juniper says that these wearable device revenues will be largely driven by consumer spending on fitness, multi-functional devices, and healthcare applications.

Classified as a future form-factor for computing devices, next generation wearables -- including smart glasses and other head-mounted displays -- will provide a multitude of functions either independently or in conjunction with a third party platform.

Juniper identifies 2014 to be the watershed year for wearable devices -- in terms of roll outs and market traction. Large influential players such as Google and Apple have already made key strategic moves in this sector.

The use of wearable devices connected to a smartphone in the fitness and sports environment has grown rapidly in the last two years with applications such as Nike+ and Fitbit Tracker allowing data from training sessions to be uploaded and analysed.

"With consumers embracing new technologies and form factors, wearable devices ranging from fitness accessories to heads-up displays will be more prevalent in the consumer market," said Juniper Research report author, Nitin Bhas.

While fitness and entertainment will have the greatest demand from consumers, within an enterprise environment, the demand for wearable devices will be greatest from the aviation and warehouse sectors.

Other key findings from the study include:
  • The market will be dominated by North America and Western Europe, representing over 60 percent of the global wearable device sales.
  • Even though the number of fitness and sports devices bought per year is higher than the number of healthcare devices sold, the health sector will be slightly larger in terms of retail value.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Americans View 9.4B Video Ads in September 2012

comScore released data showing that 181 million U.S. Internet users watched more than 39 billion online content videos in September, while video ad views totaled 9.4 billion.

Google Sites, driven primarily by video viewing at YouTube.com, ranked as the top online video content property in September with 150.3 million unique viewers, followed by Yahoo! Sites with 57.4 million, AOL, Inc. with 53.8 million, VEVO with 50.3 million and Facebook.com with 46.4 million.

More than 39 billion video content views occurred during the month, with Google Sites generating the highest number at 13.1 billion, followed by AOL, Inc. with 741 million. Google Sites had the highest average engagement among the top ten properties.

Americans viewed 9.4 billion video ads in September, with each of the top 5 video ad properties delivering more than 1-billion video ads. Google Sites ranked first with 1.8 billion ads, followed by BrightRoll Video Network with more than 1.3 billion, Hulu with 1.2 billion, Liverail.com with more than 1.1 billion and Adap.tv with 1 billion.

Time spent watching video ads totaled 3.4 billion minutes, with BrightRoll Video Network delivering the highest duration of video ads at 681 million minutes.

Video ads reached 51 percent of the total U.S. population an average of 60 times during the month. Hulu delivered the highest frequency of video ads to its viewers with an average of 51, while Google Sites delivered an average of 20 ads per viewer.

The September 2012 YouTube partner data revealed that video music channel VEVO (48.8 million viewers) maintained the top position in the ranking, followed by Warner Music with 24.4 million.

Maker Studios Inc. climbed into the #3 position for the first time with 23.5 million viewers, followed by Machinima with 22.7 million and Fullscreen with 21.2 million.

Among the top 10 YouTube partners, Machinima demonstrated the highest engagement (70 minutes per viewer) followed by VEVO (38 minutes per viewer). VEVO streamed the greatest number of videos (545 million), followed by Machinima (449 million).

Other notable findings from September 2012 include:
  • 85 percent of the U.S. Internet audience viewed online video.
  • The duration of the average online content video was 6.4 minutes, while the average online video ad was 0.4 minutes.
  • Video ads accounted for 19.3 percent of all videos viewed and 1.3 percent of all minutes spent viewing video online.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

An Evolving Online Shopping Marketplace in China


What are the main drivers of growing eCommerce applications in China? What role will m-retail play in the Chinese marketplace? These were a couple of the key questions that eMarketer considered during their latest market assessment of the online retailer landscape in China.

According to their latest study, online sales in China are flourishing. The Chinese people are embracing the internet for comparison shopping and product research, and marketers are eager to expand operations beyond the established markets of Shanghai and Beijing.

As people in China become more comfortable with shopping on the internet, the number of online buyers on the mainland will rise to nearly 220 million this year -- clearly outpacing the U.S. total of approximately 150 million buyers.

No other nation offers this online audience of shoppers. By 2016, eMarketer forecasts that 423.4 million people in China ages 14 and older will make an online purchase at least annually.

In 2011, B2C ecommerce sales in China reached $55.37 billion, that's up 103.7 percent over 2010. Online sales are forecast to rise an amazing 94.1 percent this year, to nearly $107.5 billion.

Already the second-largest B2C ecommerce market in Asia-Pacific in terms of sales behind Japan, China is the fourth-largest market in the world as ranked by B2C ecommerce sales. China's ecommerce sales are expected to surpass those of Japan and attain the global second-place rank from the UK in 2013.

China's fast B2C ecommerce sales growth puts it far ahead of any other country. Moreover, China will continue to lead growth throughout eMarketer's forecast period -- even as growth in the country slows to 22.8 percent by 2016.

That said, eMarketer believes that there are plenty of nuances to the ecommerce market in China. Westerners mostly shop online for convenience, but in China it's driven much more by availability and value. Shopping online means access to brands and goods otherwise not available beyond Tier 2 cities.

But foreign internet brands face major hurdles entering this market. The ecommerce market -- similar to its search, social networking, instant messaging and gaming sectors -- is currently dominated by a handful of local retail giants. And while online shopping certainly is on the rise, China still faces rampant piracy and counterfeiting problems.

Other challenges include ruthless competition and price wars, marketing and supply-chain costs, and uncertain taxation policies. Regardless, the upside market opportunities are very attractive to savvy online retailers.

Friday, November 09, 2012

Exploring the Global Smartphone Market Momentum

The mobile smartphone business has been a key revenue-generating growth story that we've profiled over the last few years. The overall market outlook continues to be bright -- regardless of the continuation of regional economic uncertainties.

Mobile network subscriber growth has slowed dramatically in the saturated markets, voice and text have reached commodity pricing and margins are shrinking -- yet around the world the appetite for new smartphones continues to gain momentum.

Smartphones are fast becoming the device of choice for hundreds of millions of people, and during 2012 the worldwide smartphone shipments will have reached half a billion units in one year.

According to the finding from the latest market study by Portio Research, the mobile handset industry is a $241 Billion business.

The Key Ongoing Growth Drivers

The worldwide mobile subscriber base is expected to reach 6.5 billion by end-2012, taking global mobile penetration to approximately 91 percent. The subscriber base is forecast to increase at a Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 7.3 percent between end-2011 and end-2016, to reach nearly 8.5 billion by the end of 2016.

This growth will be led by markets in Asia Pacific and Africa. During the period 2011-2016, the subscriber base in the Asia Pacific region is expected to grow at a CAGR of 9 percent; while African markets will witness an average CAGR of 9.4 percent during the same period.

The already advanced markets of North America and Western Europe are approaching saturation, with most of the markets already having close to or more than 100 percent mobile penetration now.

During the period 2009-2011 worldwide handset shipments witnessed significant growth. The overall handset market witnessed a Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 15.3 percent during this period and handset shipments reached 1.549 billion in full-year 2011.

The two key factors that led to this growth were:
  • Increasing mobile penetration in the large emerging markets.
  • The rapid growth in popularity of all-new, fully-featured smartphones, driving mobile handset replacement rates through rapid consumer adoption of these new highly-desirable lifestyle devices.

The mobile handset industry is expected to continue this booming growth phase for the foreseeable future. The overall market will grow at a CAGR of 6.8 percent over the period 2011-2016 and the number of annual handset shipments will cross 2 billion in the year 2015. Overall handset shipments are expected to reach 2.1 billion by the end of full-year 2016.

Representing a huge growth opportunity in the worldwide mobile industry, smartphone shipments continue to grow at a far greater pace than regular handset shipments. While the overall handset shipment business is forecast to grow at an impressive CAGR of 6.8 percent over the period 2011-2016, the latest forecast is that smartphone shipments worldwide will average a CAGR of 17.7 percent during the same time frame.

Smartphone shipments, expressed as a percentage of worldwide handset shipments, are forecast to rise quite dramatically. Smartphones accounted for around 31 percent of total handset shipments in full-year 2011, and this figure is expected to rise to reach 39.1 percent in 2012. Worldwide smartphone shipments will reach 1,095 million by 2016 and account for 51 percent of total handset shipments in that year.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

How Over-the-Top VoIP Disrupted Legacy Telephony

While over-the-top (OTT) voice-over-IP (VoIP) services are not about to totally replace traditional telephony, they will have a significant impact on telecom service provider revenues over the next eight years, according to the latest market study by Ovum.

Forecasts reveal that OTT VoIP will cost the global telecoms industry $479 billion in lost cumulative revenues by 2020 -- which represents 6.9 percent of cumulative total voice revenues.

New research provides some reassurance to network operators that are fearful of the demise of legacy telephony. It suggests that although revenues continue to fall, voice traffic is shifting -- rather than collapsing.

Carefully targeted price increases are expected to be commonplace as operators try to maintain their revenues. Yet, Ovum believes that a focus on creating cloud-oriented telephony apps, and efforts to maintain the relevance of telephone numbers will ensure that operators have a place in the future communications landscape.

"Where operators have seen voice telephony as a service without a future, they have chosen to compete on price in an effort to eke out any remaining revenues from the market," says Jeremy Green, principal telecoms strategy analyst at Ovum.

However, taking such a pessimistic view obscures some of the important opportunities in the voice telephony market. That being said, it also raises questions about why service providers have been so slow to innovate, creating new value-added features -- in anticipation of the emerging requirements.

The complete collapse of telephony revenues is not likely, according to Ovum, but the long-term trend is towards a richer and more complex communications environment in which voice serves a different function and telephony plays a much smaller role.

Ovum believes that people have been influenced by their experiences with OTT services, and now expect traditional network operators to provide content, relationships, and history within a service, irrespective of device or access method.

As such, Ovum recommends that network operators develop or deploy applications that link cloud services with telephony usage -- this is clearly an obvious next step, not really an innovation.

Ovum also sees the continued existence of the telephone number as a key asset for telcos as it is central to their relationships with their customers.

"The major threat posed by OTT VoIP is that it weakens customers’ attachment to their telephone number and transfers their attachment to a new address. This may turn out to be a more significant factor than the direct impact on telephony revenues," explains Green.

"Operators should use telephone numbers as the identifier and address for cloud-based services, allow customers to choose numbers that are relevant to them, and develop more application-to-person SMS applications."

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

2013 Telecom and Media Sector Survey Highlights

Substantive and meaningful innovation is the key to survival and ongoing prosperity for global telecoms and media players in 2013, according to the latest market study by Informa.

Over 500 senior executives from across both these sectors were asked how their businesses and markets would perform in 2013 and the role innovation would play in driving future revenue growth.

Respondents were generally positive about the state of the market and revenue prospects for 2013 -- with almost 40 percent saying there were strong opportunities for both vendors and operators in their home markets.

Looking at sources of innovation generally in today's telecoms and media markets, there's a divergence of views as to which are the most important sources of innovation.

Service innovation was ranked as the most important focus for telecoms and TV operators followed by partnerships and business models, customer service innovation and network innovation.

However, the market researchers at Informa Telecoms & Media believes that the sector must take a long-term approach to developing new services and revenue streams outside its core businesses.

"It is important to recognize that it is going to take a long time for new businesses to have an impact on total revenues. Figures that we have started to pull together for our research program on growth and innovation strategies for telecoms operators beyond the network indicate that -- on a global basis -- revenues from mobile VAS, M2M, cloud, advertising and payment are equivalent to just 2 percent of global mobile operator revenue," says Mark Newman, Chief Research Officer at Informa Telecoms & Media.

Asked to what extent, as individuals, our survey respondents felt they were rewarded personally for being innovative in their jobs, three out of four gave a score of between three and five (one = low reward, five = high reward).

In terms of the types of companies that provide the biggest sources of innovation, there is an acceptance in the telecoms market that the wider community of Internet and applications developers contains the most important players.

But, in the TV business, content creators and producers are still seen as being the most important source of innovation -- not the distribution channels (such as pay-TV providers).

In the short term -- the 2013 to 2015 time frame -- managing the transition of massive revenue streams from voice to data will be the biggest challenge that the telecoms industry faces. Informa believes that a more intelligent, innovative data pricing strategy is crucial to manage this transition successfully.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Rocky Road to Hybrid Video Entertainment Nirvana

The American pay-TV sector continues to underestimate the lasting impact of alternative video entertainment options that are priced significantly lower than the primary service providers.

According to the latest market study by ABI Research, nearly 20 percent of online consumers consider the growing availability of streaming video -- via the public internet -- as a viable replacement for legacy pay-TV services.

ABI believes that their latest findings represent a significant risk to the traditional TV operator business of as much as $16.8 billion in the U.S. market.

With the U.S. pay-TV household penetration set to decline by approximately 0.5 percent per year through 2017, ABI Research says that this slow migration will continue -- even with an economic recovery as people have additional entertainment choices, such as low-cost over-the-top (OTT) video experiences.

To offset this, pay-TV service providers should proactively build a business that leverages OTT components. This will be critical and doing so requires an understanding of the current and future customer target.

Clearly, this is a work in progress for most pay-TV providers.

Dish Network acquired Blockbuster with the goal of capturing online market share against Netflix. However, they failed to license adequate content and have admitted that, in hindsight, their strategy was flawed.

Verizon is the next U.S. operator to target this hybrid approach, based on their Redbox Instant partnership.

European providers, including ViaSat’s Viaplay offering and Sky’s recently launched NOW TV are also looking at value-based pay-TV offerings.

"While many OTT services focus on movies, the goal of lightweight pay-TV packages should be to introduce customers to the brand and tease customers with premium content offerings," says Sam Rosen, practice director at ABI Research.

Their study also notes a larger longer-term opportunity -- the 30 percent of online consumers that already have pay-TV and the foundation in place for using OTT services. Many don't yet see the value proposition for online video. But there is no reason why legacy pay-TV operators must wait for others (i.e. Netflix) to educate this group.

ABI says that this market segment should be the target customer for building and positioning new hybrid service offerings. The time to act is now -- while the window of opportunity is still open.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Global Growth Projection for Affordable Smartphones

The lower-cost smartphone market segment -- defined as a unit price of less than $150 -- is a strong growth opportunity for the mobile phone industry, according to the latest market study by NPD DisplaySearch.

Low-cost smartphone shipments are forecast to double every year from 2010 to 2016, increasing from 4.5 to 311.0 million.

"Most mobile phone subscribers around the world can't afford to spend more than $200 for a smartphone, on top of their service plans," said Shawn Lee, Research Director at NPD DisplaySearch.

Low-cost smartphone manufacturers create these new products quickly without much investment, which has allowed them to extend their telecom subscriber base to emerging regions.

Most of the demand (60 percent) is from the Asia Pacific region, where a large majority of component suppliers and manufacturing factories are located -- providing both time and cost savings.

These solutions have a shorter lifetime than high-end smartphones and are manufactured via ready-made solutions from application processor manufacturers. The product mix is complex, requiring continuous development cycles for new products.

To keep prices low, the key requirements for components are low cost and readily available supply. Android is the most popular operating system for low-cost smartphone designs because it is considered open source.

Brands and manufactures tend to use mature, low-price components, rather than developing new ones. For the display, this means standard a-Si TFT LCD rather than high-resolution LTPS.

The penetration rate of Android-based low-cost smartphones is increasing, with NPD DisplaySearch forecasting their share to grow from 2 percent of total smartphone shipments in 2012 to 29 percent in 2016.

NPD DisplaySearch says that local brands and white box vendors in China have taken an aggressive stance in capturing market share.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

How Mobile Device Apps Disrupt Corp Travel Policy


To what degree are business travelers using mobile device technology? What types of mobile offerings disrupt legacy corporate travel policies, and in what ways? How frequently are guidelines for mobile usage communicated? These were the key questions that eMarketer considered during their latest assessment.

Granted, mobile devices have enabled more productive business travel, allowing people to stay in touch and adapt to changing schedule needs -- among the many other apparent benefits.

The same devices can also create challenges for typical corporate travel managers trying to contain their organization's expenses. According to a new eMarketer study, many travel managers are therefore evolving their travel policies to address the current environment.

Moreover, according to an AirPlus International study during 2012, 95 percent of travel managers worldwide said they were either making policies more stringent or keeping them the same going forward.

Managed corporate travel is a unique marketplace because its buyers are not the same as its consumers -- and those groups often have needs that are at odds with each other.

Travel marketers are focused on creating mobile apps and solutions for the end user, versus for someone managing bulk corporate travel planning activities. That user adoption is growing. And, they're gaining lots of new app subscribers.

Business travelers continue to access a multitude of travel information. According to Google and Ipsos MediaCT’s August 2012 study, 57 percent of American business travelers reported using mobile devices to access travel information this year, compared to just 38 percent of U.S. leisure travelers.

These tools give travel managers the opportunity to connect with their employees. At the same time, more devices means an increasing likelihood that business travelers will be free to use the best-fit solutions, such as last-minute booking apps.

The main reason travelers give for engaging in activities contrary to corporate policy is lack of awareness of company guidelines -- if they exist at all.

In fact, few travel managers define the use of mobile bookings. According to a GBTA Foundation study, only 18 percent of travel professionals worldwide had integrated information designed to educate travelers on travel policy into mobile booking tools.

Since mobile policy creation and compliance is predicated on communication between corporate travel managers and their company employees, savvy marketers that develop solutions addressing the needs of both sides will likely have an advantage.

Friday, November 02, 2012

How Software Opens New Pay-TV Opportunities

Multimedia Research Group, Inc. (MRG) released its comprehensive study of the Multi-platform TV Middleware and Applications ecosystem.

According to the findings of their latest market study, pay-TV has been on a collision course with the Internet for more than a decade, but not only has online delivery not yet cannibalized pay TV revenues to any great extent, it also has created a variety of new revenue opportunities for facilities-based service providers.

"Generally speaking, consumers are growing to expect the same experience on the TV that they receive from the Internet, and vice versa," said Norm Bogen, MRG VP of Global Research.

From the content provider’s perspective, this must be done securely, in ways that respect existing content acquisition and distribution agreements.

Enter TV software and the technological advances required to enable new platforms.

Key findings from this market study included:
  • The 2010-2014 time-frame is a time of radical change, in which the very concept of TV is in flux.
  • IPTV technologies are mature and are continuing to evolve in response to and in anticipation of these changes.
  • Operators other than telcos are adopting technologies initially designed for telco IPTV.
  • Hybrid-IP TV delivery is now the norm.
  • Traditional (policy-managed) pay TV can now be blended seamlessly with Internet-sourced multimedia content.
  • Second-screen control has become commonplace.
  • The greatest barrier to second-screen viewing of the content itself is the content owner, not the technology.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

The Global Video Infrastructure Market Outlook

Infonetics Research released excerpts from two of their latest video entertainment related market studies. Video-on-Demand (VOD) and Encoder Equipment and Video Subscribers -- which tracks equipment sold to telco IPTV, cable video, and satellite video providers. Set-Top Boxes and Subscribers -- which tracks IP, cable, satellite, and hybrid set top boxes (STBs) and over-the-top (OTT) media servers.

"Thanks to a 7 percent increase in encoder spending by North American cable and satellite operators, the global video infrastructure market saw a return to growth in the second quarter," said Jeff Heynen, directing analyst for broadband access and pay TV at Infonetics Research.

The pay-TV market continues to be driven by cable and satellite operators upgrading their encoding infrastructure to support more high-definition (HD) channels and unicast video-on-demand content.

Meanwhile, satellite set-top boxes surged in Q2, with global shipments up 20 percent and revenue up 19 percent sequentially.

The biggest growth is coming from the Asia Pacific region, particularly China, but growth is also strong in Latin America and North America, where DirecTV and Dish Network are seeing sustained subscriber growth and renewed interest in higher-function STBs -- such as Dish's Hopper.


The latest Infonetics market study highlights include:
  • The global video infrastructure market, including IPTV, cable, and satellite video infrastructure, totaled $199.5 million in 2Q12, up 5 percent from the year-ago 2nd quarter.
  • Telco IPTV, cable, and satellite subscriber growth continues unabated in Latin America and Asia Pacific:
  • There is sustained investment in Brazil to build up capabilities ahead of the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics.
  • A national effort is underway in China to increase the availability of digital services in rural provinces.
  • Huawei and ZTE dominate the VOD and streaming content server market, together accounting for more than half of worldwide revenue in 2Q12.
  • The top 3 cable video service operators by subscribers are Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Jiangsu Cable TV.
  • Many cable operators devote at least 2/5 of their total annual capex to set-top box upgrades.