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Showing posts from October, 2009

BBC Canvas Adoption, Assuming it Survives

The latest market study from Screen Digest focuses on the prospects for a project Canvas-type venture in the UK. Screen Digest believes that a hybrid open IPTV platform -- such as that proposed by the BBC and its partners -- will attain some degree of consumer adoption. Dan Cryan, Senior Analyst at Screen Digest says "The BBC track record of building markets with Freeview and the iPlayer has been a well-documented success. There is every reason to think that if a Canvas-type proposition is approved, with the full promotional impetus of the BBC behind it, it will reach at least 3.5 million homes by 2014." Given recent events at the BBC Board of Governors, however, "if" Canvas is deemed within the public interest apparently remains very much an undecided issue. Such a platform is both a threat and an opportunity to pay-TV operators. On the one hand giving them wider distribution potential for their content, and on the other hand giving content owners a potential

Hyper-Competitive French Telecoms Market

By 2014, more consumers in France will subscribe to a triple-play service offer -- as broadband service providers invest in fiber-optic infrastructure to stay competitive, according to the latest market study by Pyramid Research . Pyramid offers an insightful profile of the country's converged telecommunications, media, and technology (TMT) sectors. Their report provides detailed competitive analysis of both the fixed and mobile sectors, tracks the market shares of technologies and services, and monitors the introduction and adoption of technologies, such as WiMax, IPTV, and VoIP. "Pyramid forecasts that 30 percent of households in France will subscribe to a triple-play offer by the end of 2009, a number we expect to increase to almost 50 percent by 2014," says Jan ten Sythoff, EMEA Manager at Pyramid Research. "Pyramid expects quad-play adoption to gradually increase to make up 3 percent of households by 2014," he adds. Fixed-mobile convergence will become

Mobile Data Service Price-Leader Examples

In a global comparison of mobile data service pricing, ABI Research found the Netherlands, France and Singapore to have among the lowest prices for mobile broadband plans. In France, an "unlimited" download plan costs just over $15 per month. Government regulators in other countries can learn from this hyper-competitive telecom services market that has become the envy of consumers the world over. "ABI Research expects the price of mobile data to fall in emerging regions where network capacity is still under-used," says ABI Research analyst Bhavya Khanna. However, in developed markets with high levels of smartphone penetration, operators will have to rethink their current pricing strategies of high or unlimited data download plans, as data usage has grown exponentially. Some countries have already seen the introduction of innovative pricing plans, including pricing by time rather than data downloaded. For example, mobile data plans in Italy and the Philippines a

Substantial Upside for Mobile Enterprise Apps

Informa Telecoms & Media forecasts that mobile enterprise revenues are to reach $92.6bn with over 479 million subscribers by 2014, making this a strong growth area for vendors, service providers and content providers. According to Informa's latest market assessment, mobile enterprise is forecast to generate 24 percent of total mobile data service revenues by 2014, representing a potentially strong revenue generation opportunity for key players. Traditionally, cellular operators have tried but failed to capture this market and Informa's report highlights the importance of developing strategies to maximize these new revenue streams. "One of the key drivers of this growth, is cellular operator interest in new service segments including the SME and Soho sector, the opportunities created by mobile convergence, growth in end user outsourcing and software as services (SaaS). These factors will be magnified in the short term by the impact of the global economic downturn,&q

When Smartphones Reach Market Saturation

The next mobile phone feature, no matter how cool it's said to be, apparently isn't enough to create meaningful competitive advantage. Consumers demand applications that leverage a combined set of features and improved performance to enhance their user experience, according to the latest market study by In-Stat . "iPhone's success has been a bellwether driving users expectations for cellphones," says Frank Dickson, In-Stat analyst. "Touch screens and QWERTY keyboards, as well as accelerated adoption of open source operating systems have combined to create an innovation environment not seen in the cellphone market of the past." However, are we talking exclusively about early-adopters when we describe these scenarios? I'm not an early-adopter of these expensive smartphones, so I have to wonder when the advanced user market reaches total saturation -- in other words, I'm wondering, are we already there? In-Stat's market study found the follow

Mobile Handsets Include Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality (AR), the overlay of graphics onto a video stream or other real-time display, has existed for more than 15 years, with customized applications in industrial automation, theme parks, sports television, military displays, and online marketing. Recently, an entirely new mass market has opened up in mobile handsets, due to the availability of video cameras, processors, GPS data, compasses, and accelerometers on smartphone handset platforms. In particular, personal navigation applications for the Apple iPhone and Android platforms have seen strong early adoption, due to the intuitive nature of the real-time display. According to an ABI Research study, handheld platforms will transform the Augmented Reality ecosystem, with revenue growing from about $6 million in 2008 to more than $350 million in 2014. As advertisers learn to insert tags into navigation displays, mobile advertising revenue will grow slowly, representing a large portion of sectoral revenues in the 2013-2

Producing Attractive Self-Published DVD Media

As I've mentioned before, I find myself experimenting with digital video media more and more, as I discover new ways to use this communication format for multimedia storytelling. Having started my video editing learning experience with Windows Movie Maker, I've tried a variety of other Non-Linear Editing (NLE) system software, and tinkered with a couple of DVD authoring systems as well. Most of my creations resulted in online uploads to Youtube, and other Web-based video sharing sites. Being a low-budget self-publisher of video content, my prior efforts to create and duplicate limited numbers of DVDs resulted in unattractive hand-written scribbles on the usual bland silver surface DVD-R discs. Granted, there are solutions to this problem that include laser engraving the surface of specially designed DVDs, color printing directly onto special matt- or silk-finish discs, or laser printing on adhesive white labels that can be applied to discs. My preferred choice for quickly p

Online Video Sites May Adopt Pay-TV Model

According to an eMarketer report, an August 2009 survey provides more insightful datapoints for the ongoing debate about consumer interest in paid (rental) versus free (advertiser supported) services that deliver online video. Digitalsmiths found that more than 70 percent of U.S. Internet users surveyed had watched online video in the past week, and more than one-half had watched online TV programs. When asked whether they would pay to watch television programs on demand on a computer or mobile device, online video viewers were split. While 22.6 percent of viewers said they were at least somewhat likely to sign up for such a service, more than three in ten claimed they definitely would not. Online video viewers similarly disagreed on whether they would pay a rental fee to stream movies on demand. The eMarketer report highlighted this split among online video viewers. Most would prefer to watch video for free, but a significant minority is willing to pay in order to avoid at least

Demand for Internet TV Widget Applications

The Diffusion Group (TDG) has studied a wide variety of widget-based Internet TV applications. TDG's new report "Widgets Gone Wild - Separating Killer Apps from Losers in the Age of Web TV" offers new perspective on this emerging market. "To date, it has been impossible to introduce Internet applications into the TV environment and make them stick," notes Michael Greeson, TDG founding partner and report author. "There are a number of culprits involved, ranging from the lack of network-capable TVs and poorly conceived user interfaces, to a genuine lack of consumer interest in the applications offered." However, a forwarding looking view of the market opportunity paints a very different picture. Colin Dixon, TDG senior partner and a former member of the Microsoft Web TV team, argues that the age of Internet TV is only now beginning in earnest, having been touted prematurely nearly a decade ago, long before technology and consumer vectors were in ali

Worldwide Mobile Data Service Revenues

While the world economic recession has caused hardship for many businesses, it has had little impact on their use of mobile data services, according to the latest market study by ABI Research . In an update to ABI's study, worldwide mobile data services revenues are expected to increase 17 percent in 2010. Through 2014, mobile data services revenues will grow at a CAGR of 12 percent. Says practice director Dan Shey, "Company consolidations have forced the remaining workforce to become even more efficient. Mobile data services offer the most options for tailoring services to the needs and work practices of workers in order to increase productivity and business efficiency." Messaging services will maintain their leadership position for data revenues, fueled by the penetration and growing use of SMS services by business customers worldwide. Total worldwide messaging revenues from this segment will grow 10 percent through 2014, equaling $48 billion. Mobile broadband reve

DTV Sets are Broadband Entertainment Hubs

With digital television sets (DTVs) supplanting analog models in much of the world, consumer electronics manufacturers are adding new features -- such as Internet connectivity and wireless HD capability to broaden their appeal, according to the latest market study by In-Stat . "DTVs are competing with computers to be the entertainment hub of the home," says Brian O'Rourke, In-Stat analyst. TV sets with broadband Internet connectivity are already commercially available in the U.S., Europe, and Japan. Models from Hitachi, LG Electronics, Mitsubishi, Panasonic, Samsung, Sharp, and Sony can connect directly to the Internet without a home computer. CES 2010 will likely feature a plethora of new TV models, and associated OTT video services. In-Stat's market study found the following: - 36 percent of digital TV sets sold in 2013 will be network-enabled. - DTV Revenue in Asia-Pacific will see a 6.3 percent Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) from 2008 to 2013, the

U.S. PC Market Grew by 2.5 Percent in 3Q09

Global PC shipments rose 2.3 percent year on year in the third quarter of 2009 (3Q09), according to the latest market study by IDC . The increase is an important continuation of recovery from year-on-year declines of 6.8 percent in the first quarter and 2.4 percent in the second quarter of this year. Seeing market growth ahead of the launch of Microsoft's Windows 7 bodes very well for the fourth quarter and next year. All regions except Japan either met or surpassed expectations. Portable PCs continue to account for the majority of volume and growth, with Mini Notebooks are still making a substantial contribution. "Despite the ongoing mix of gloom and caution on the economic front, the PC market continues to rebound quickly," said Loren Loverde, program director for IDC's Tracker Program. The competitive landscape, the transition to portables, new and low-power designs, growth in retail and consumer segments, and the impact of falling prices are all reflected in t

Graphics, Video and Audio App Requirements

With the increasing use of rich media content, Internet-connected mobile devices need robust multimedia performance enhancements to provide a quality user experience, according to the latest market study by In-Stat . As a result, graphics, video, and audio requirements are now strategically important to related semiconductor and system design. "Multimedia features have moved from simple co-processing functions to the forefront of semiconductor and system design," says Jim McGregor In-Stat analyst. However, there appears to be an alarming trend of fewer in-house and third-party solutions available despite the growth prospects of the mobile market. In-Stat's market study uncovered the following: - The total available market (TAM) for Internet-connected devices is projected to grow at a 22.3 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) through 2013. - 91 percent of Internet-connected devices will be using processors with integrated multimedia acceleration, includin

Best Online Video Advertising is None

eMarketer reports that online video viewership has never been higher, and marketers are eager to reach that audience. However, video viewers apparently dislike advertising. Perhaps marketers should forget about legacy mass-market approaches to viewer engagement, and instead accept that online video isn't at all like traditional TV. "The audience perspective will also shift as marketers increasingly implement two key concepts," said David Hallerman, eMarketer senior analyst. "It will mean making the length of video ads suitable to the length of content, so that they are not too pushy, and devoting resources to develop high-quality video creative that is well-targeted to the intended online audience." Marketers still generally shun user-generated video, but the proliferation of short professional content gives them more opportunities for video advertising. Choosing an appropriate amount of advertising for the content and its audience will be key, according to

Consumer TVs Entering Pro Digital Signage

According to a Futuresource Consulting market study, the B2B flat panel digital display market has experienced steady growth this year, with the market attaining sales in excess of 400,000 units in Q2 2009. This represents close to 30 percent year-on-year growth from Q2 2008, underlining the growing acceptance of flat panel product as a viable and ever more affordable technology. However, this performance also includes consumer TV crossover product, which has been widely adopted in the professional marketplace over the past few years, accounting for over 60 percent of global sales in Q2 this year. There are arguments and counter arguments for the selection of pro monitors vs. consumer TV products, but ultimately video displays have now become just one element of a wider solution. "Our research shows the public display application has enjoyed strong year-on-year growth of nearly 40 percent, with digital signage driving flat panel display penetration in almost every application

Wi-Fi Starts Cross-Over into Digital TV Sets

As the number of connected consumer electronics (CE) devices continues to grow, network connectivity becomes a challenge. Home network technologies such as coax and powerline are making inroads, however the latest market study by ABI Research indicates that wireless will remain the dominant method. Connected consumer electronics devices are an important part of the emerging and quickly growing home media network. Consumers are becoming more comfortable with the idea of delivering audio and video content throughout the home, on a variety of devices. These devices include HDTVs, video game consoles, networked music receivers, and more. However, as these components are frequently scattered around the home, away from the router, wired connections are often not practical. As a result, Wi-Fi connections in consumer electronics devices will rise from 113 million in 2008 to more than 285 million by 2012. "While many consumer electronics devices initially adopted Ethernet connections

Pay-TV Set Top Boxes Transition to MPEG-4

The global pay-TV market has been somewhat unpredictable for vendors that supply the key elements of the service delivery infrastructure. After a record-setting year in 2008, worldwide demand for digital cable set top boxes (STB) is falling in 2009, according to the latest market study by In-Stat . The slowdown in unit shipments and revenue has generally been concentrated in the comparatively advanced cable markets in North America and Western Europe. The market slow-down has been due to reductions in cable operator capital expenditure (CAPEX) budgets brought on by the global economic recession. Meanwhile, unit shipments to China are projected to set another record in 2009, approaching 20 million units, contributing to a rise in the overall Asia-Pacific market. In addition, increasing demand for digital cable TV services is pushing digital cable set top boxes into new markets in Asia, Latin America, and in Eastern Europe. "Even with a slight decrease in unit shipments in 2009,

Mixed Upside-Downside of Pay-TV Markets

By 2014, 84 percent of all pay-TV net additions will come from emerging markets, however a successful pay-TV VoD service in these markets will depend on a variety of factors, according to the latest market study by Pyramid Research . "By 2014, emerging markets will account for 69 percent of the global subscription total, with 84 percent of all pay-TV net additions coming from these markets," says Dan Locke, Senior Analyst at Pyramid Research. Almost half of the world's pay-TV subscriptions come from Asia-Pacific, mostly from China and India. The next-largest emerging pay-TV nations are Russia, Egypt, Turkey, and Poland. Even though most pay-TV subscriptions are found in emerging economies, the revenue opportunity in these markets is considerably smaller than in developed ones, due to significantly lower pay-TV ARPS. Low incomes make high prices for pay-TV unaffordable for most in developing markets, and free or inexpensive alternatives such as pirated content deters a

Mobile VoIP is a Threat to the Legacy Telcos

Why all the fuss about the Google Voice service? Let me share my perspective. I've been a user since the Grand Central beta launch. It's innovative, a wonderful productivity enhancement tool, easy to configure, and it's free to use with any mobile phone. So, why don't Telcos use their service delivery platforms to create these new offerings? In-Stat believes Mobile VoIP could pose a direct threat to service provider voice revenue. The cost to a mobile subscriber for a minute of voice is at the center of the storm with Mobile VoIP promising to fundamentally change mobile voice economics. The consumer cost of a minute of voice from a wireless operator can be as high as 45 cents. Admittedly, a rate as high as this would be for overage fees above a standard rate plan. Given rate plans, free week-ends, free weeknights, unlimited calling circles and other plan complexities driven by innovative marketing practices, the actual cost per minute to a subscriber is about 5

Marketer Mass Exodus from Brand Building

Three-quarters of U.S. marketers had their budgets cut this year, and two-thirds were expected to drive more sales with an equal or lesser budget, according to the Association of National Advertisers and Marketing Management Analytics. eMarketer reports that the number one strategy for marketers who wanted to improve effectiveness without spending more, according to the June 2009 poll, was shifting from traditional to digital media. More than one-half of respondents also reported shifting spending away from brand-building initiatives, and 38 percent were putting more spending into lower-cost media. The marketer exodus from traditional leap-of-faith brand-related advertising is clearly related to the accelerated move toward more measurable digital marketing practices. That said, almost four in ten respondents reported that their senior management considered marketing an expense, but more still saw marketing costs as investments in their brand. The need for marketing accountabilit

Telecom Growth Hinges on Mobile Data Apps

Analysys Mason forecasts that the worldwide telecommunications market will grow at a 6 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) to reach $2.4 trillion in revenue by 2013. This growth will be driven primarily by mobile data service applications. Communication service providers (CSPs) are launching 3G mobile networks in many emerging markets, such as China and India, and LTE technology will become available in most mature markets during the next few years. Analysys Mason predicts that mobile data traffic will grow at a 131 percent CAGR through 2013. Roz Roseboro, Senior Analyst at Analysys Mason, says "While mobile data presents the greatest revenue opportunity for operators, it could also be their biggest challenge. They must find ways to monetize that traffic so that all of the value doesn't go to device manufacturers, such as Apple and Nokia, and content owners. Flat-rate plans break the link between traffic and revenue, so are not a sustainable solution." The repo

Next Wave of IP Connected Home Devices

Broadband Internet access service adoption and home networking infrastructure advances have contributed to a new wave of digital home connectivity. On the hardware front, the trend in the digital home is headed towards more IP-connected devices, signifying a new era in consumer electronics. According to the latest market data from ABI Research , connected home devices is potentially the Next Big Thing in the consumer electronics (CE) industry, with a global market value growing by a compound average of 23 percent annually over the next five years to more than $10 billion in 2014. As ABI industry analyst Serene Fong observes, "Service providers view home networking not only as an avenue to create consumer loyalty, but also as a new revenue-generating cash cow." Instead of pure voice or data services, service providers now include content, applications, in-home networking, and sometimes gaming and even energy management within their service offerings. Interest in content sh

Global Demand for Over-the-Top TV Services

As we countdown the days to CES in January, now's the time to reflect upon the anticipated arrival of new consumer electronics devices, in particular Internet-enabled flat-screen television sets, that are being introduced to accelerate the demand for over-the-top (OTT) TV services. According to the The Diffusion Group , revenue from the on-demand delivery of Internet video to the TV will grow from $621 million in 2009 to $2.1 billion by 2014, accounting for more than 25 percent of total annual video-on-demand revenue. This finding is discussed at length in TDG's latest digital media analysis, Broadband-Enabled TV: Rise of the OTT Provider, authored by TDG senior partner, Colin Dixon. Fueling this trend, notes Dixon, is the rapid diffusion of ancillary web-enabled platforms such as game consoles, Blu-ray players, and hybrid set-top boxes. While TVs with embedded broadband support are only now arriving in retail channels, the widespread and growing penetration of secondary pl

Ups and Downs of TV Set-Top-Box Demand

The global transition to digital broadcast television service, and the growing adoption of Internet video by consumers, is creating huge roller-coaster like demand swings for the CE device manufacturers. In-Stat reported that worldwide Digital Terrestrial TV (DTT) Set Top Box (STB) shipments fell by nearly 35 percent in Q2 compared to Q1. The shift was driven primarily by falling shipments in the North American market following the analog broadcast TV shut-off. Plummeting unit shipments in North America were partially offset by growth in the Asian DTT market, which actually grew 50 percent to over 1.2 million units. The satellite set top box market increased unit shipments to 20.3 million units in Q2 2009, making it the largest set top box market among Cable, Satellite, IP and DTT set top boxes. While IPTV set top boxes saw a slight sequential drop in unit shipments from Q1 to Q2, growth in High-definition IPTV set top boxes was strong. The percentage of HD IPTV set top boxes incr

Upside for Mobile Phone Application Stores

The number of smartphones sold each year will increase from around 165.2 million in 2009 to 422.96 million in 2013, with the total number of smartphone users approaching 1.6 billion, according to the latest market study by Wireless Expertise . Their latest report demonstrates how smartphone penetration will reach approximately 28-30 percent of the total mobile market by 2013. "We expect smartphone growth to have a positive impact on the number of application downloads in the short- to mid-term," said Anuj Khanna, CEO of Wireless Expertise and author of the report. Strong revenues are expected to come from low-end mass market smartphones and mid-to high-end feature-phones in the mid- to long-term as operators and mobile handset manufacturers take app stores to the mass market. Wireless Expertise forecasts that the global mobile app market will be worth $4.66 billion in 2009, rising to $16.60 billion, in 2013. With mobile phones outnumbering PCs around the world by 4:1, mob

Exclusive Clip and the Rise of OTT Video

First Hulu, then Fancast, and eventually ZillionTV . What does the future of Over-the-Top video look like? -- Broadband-Enabled TV: Rise of the OTT Provider . By the way, kudos to the movie "2012" special effects team.

Proven Digital Marketing Success Strategies

eMarketer reports that McKinsey & Company recently polled people about the benefits gained from using various Digital Marketing practices and associated Web 2.0 tools, both internally and externally. The study found that several technologies were a benefit for enhancing relationships among employees -- as well as with customers and external partners. When it came to customer-related benefits, blogs were the most useful tool, bringing measurable benefits to 51 percent of responding companies worldwide. That was followed by video-sharing and social networking, at 48 percent each, and RSS feeds, at 45 percent. Technologies such as wikis, podcasts, ratings and tags were less useful, but still benefited customer relationships for about one-quarter to one-third of companies worldwide. More than one-half of respondents (52 percent) said Web 2.0 tools increased marketing effectiveness, while 43 percent reported higher customer satisfaction and 38 percent reduced marketing costs. Bus

Fourth-Screen Scenarios in the Digital Home

If broadband service providers want to provide useful value-add services to consumers, then don't they need to become more fluent in the evolving domain of the digital home? It's a challenge, when most of your early-adopter customers know more than your typical front-line employee. According to a new connected home devices study from ABI Research , fourth screen devices -- some new, some variants on ideas that have been around for several years -- promise novel experiences for users and potential new revenue streams for service providers. These devices include digital photo frames, media phones, and Internet appliances. Media phones will be among the fastest-growing device types, and will generate a market value above $5 billion by 2014. ABI industry analyst Michael Inouye says, "While the first media phone models only appeared late last year in the U.S. (earlier in Asia-Pacific), more than 30 million units will be shipped in 2014. These devices, which feature video pla

Entertainment Industry Migrates to Online Ads

The Nielsen Company reported that time spent on social network and blogging sites accounted for 17 percent of all time spent on the Internet in August 2009, nearly triple the percentage of time spent on the sector a year ago. "This growth suggests a wholesale change in the way the Internet is used," said Jon Gibs, vice president, media and agency insights, Nielsen's online division. "While video and text content remain central to the Web experience, the desire of online consumers to connect, communicate and share is increasingly driving the medium's growth." Year-over-year, estimated online advertising spend on the top social network and blogging sites increased 119 percent, from approximately $49 million in August 2008 to approximately $108 million in August 2009. The share of estimated spend on these sites has also grown, increasing from a seven percent share of total online ad spend in August 2008 to a 15 percent share in August 2009. While several in