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Showing posts from March, 2010

Global Mobile Phone Service Subscriber Upside

In the last twenty years, few industries have grown as fast as the worldwide market for mobile phone services. Having recorded a staggering 3.9 billion subscriber additions between 2000 and 2009 -- a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23.3 percent -- the worldwide mobile subscriber base is forecast to increase from 4.6 billion in 2009 to 7.5 billion by 2020, according to the latest market study by Portio Research . This subscriber growth has propelled worldwide mobile penetration from 11.5 percent in 2000 to pass 64 percent by 2009 -- and by 2020 it is forecast reach 94 percent. Up until 2000, Europe dominated the worldwide mobile market -- in terms of subscriber numbers -- but shortly thereafter Asia Pacific replaced Europe as the world leader and has continued to remain so in terms of subscriber base. However, now Africa and Middle East are adding mobile phone subscribers to the worldwide base much faster than any other region. Since their 1992 launch, mobile value added

Global STB Market Driven by Satellite Pay-TV

In 2009, more than 100 million satellite pay-TV set-top box (STB) units were sold, which represents more than 50 percent of the total STB market for that year, according to the latest market study by In-Stat . Cable and digital terrestrial television (DTT) STB shipments each represented slightly over 20 percent of the market, with IPTV only capturing the remaining 7 percent. Asia is the dominant region, in terms of unit shipments, with nearly half of the worldwide total units shipped in the forth quarter of 2009. In terms of revenue, North America continues to be the most dominant region, with over $8 billion in STB sales for 2009. In-Stat's study covers the worldwide market for set-top boxes. This research tracks set top box (STB) unit shipments, revenues and average selling prices (ASPs) on a quarterly basis. The pay-TV operator segmentation includes Cable, Satellite, Telco IPTV, and Digital Terrestrial TV. In-Stat's latest market study found the following: - The

Why Consumers Still Don't Watch TV Advertising

The television attention deficit trend has accelerated -- when advertisers believe that consumers are watching, they're probably not. Americans increased their overall media usage and media multitasking according to the latest market study by The Nielsen Company , which tracks consumption across TV, Internet and mobile phones. In the last quarter of 2009, simultaneous use of the Internet while watching TV reached three and a half hours a month, up 35 percent from the previous quarter. Nearly 60 percent of TV viewers now use the Internet once a month while also watching TV. "The rise in simultaneous use of the web and TV gives the viewer a unique on-screen and off-screen relationship with TV programming," said Nielsen Company media product leader Matt O'Grady. Each week, on average, Americans watched (figuratively speaking, only paying attention sometimes) roughly 35 hours of linear TV programming and two hours of time-shifted TV via a DVR. The growth in view

Shoppers Search for Local Businesses Online

The two largest U.S. Yellow Pages directory publishers were bankrupt as their profitability went into a prolonged decline. Moreover, there's no relief in sight for these legacy service providers -- in fact, Google will likely further erode their revenues with a new offering that targets their best customers. Why won't the Yellow Pages publishers recover? eMarketer reports that the overwhelming majority of U.S. Internet users research online to find local products and services, according to the latest market study by BIA/Kelsey and ConStat. The most common online tool used for local research was search engines (Google). Less than one-half of respondents still used Internet yellow pages and 42 percent checked comparison-shopping sites before heading to local businesses. In summer 2009, TMP Directional Marketing and comScore found that 46 percent of local online searchers contacted a business by telephone after Web research, and 37 percent visited in person. "The I

Pay-TV Hybrid STB Integrated with Gateways

Shipments of pay-TV set-top boxes will continue to rise during the next few years as consumer viewing patterns shift and as video delivered via the Internet becomes more popular, according to the latest market study by iSuppli Corp . A total of 147.8 million set-top boxes will ship worldwide in 2010 -- up 11.5 percent from 132.6 million units last year. Shipments will continue to rise in the next few years and reach 193.9 million units by 2014. The continued growth of set-top boxes coincides with projections for worldwide subscribers to Internet Protocol TV (IPTV), and over-the-top IP Video services, according to Jagdish Rebello, iSuppli senior director. Global IPTV subscribers will increase to more than 123 million units by 2014, up from about 33 million at the end of 2009 -- rising at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of almost 30 percent. "The rise in numbers in both set-top boxes and IPTV subscribers bears profound implications for consumers and OEMs, signaling a major

More VoIP Apps and Wi-Fi in Mobile Phones

Mobile phones with embedded Wi-Fi connectivity continued to experience growth in 2009 despite total handset shipment declines, according to the latest market study by In-Stat . While the 2009 Wi-Fi mobile handset growth rate of more than 20 percent was significantly slower than the 2008, In-Stat still expects that 2010 will see resumed strength with units exceeding 180 million. While the majority of current Wi-Fi enabled handsets are smartphones, feature phone manufacturers are also beginning to incorporate this feature -- providing a double stimulus for Wi-Fi handset growth. "There are three primary zones of Wi-Fi handset usage," says Frank Dickson, In-Stat analyst. "At home, at the office and on the go. In the home, while broadband penetration has increased significantly over the past several years, so too has Wi-Fi home network penetration." Enterprise smartphones will continue evolving to leverage VoIP's potential. On the go, consumers are increasingly l

IPTV Adoption Increasing at Very Slow Pace

According to the latest market study by Informa Telecoms & Media , the IPTV market continues to expand with global IPTV subscriptions reaching 29.7 million at the end of 2009, up from 19.4 million a year earlier. In particular, IPTV has started to win significant share in several emerging markets and has made inroads into some developed mid-sized ones -- albeit at a very slow pace. The number of quarterly net new subscriptions, or net additions, for broadband-based TV services from telecoms operators and ISPs reached a record high of 3.2 million in the last three months of last year. But just four countries accounted for nearly two-thirds of all IPTV subscriptions -- France, the U.S., China and South Korea. "IPTV still has a long way to go. The technology had only 5 percent of the multichannel pay-TV market and less than 2 percent penetration of the world's households, despite services being available in over 50 countries. In many markets, services have simply struggled

Connected TVs Advancing OTT Video Use

A recent market study by Knowledge Networks (KN) provides evidence that television and the Internet are becoming increasingly interchangeable -- when it comes to viewing network TV programs. Among U.S. Internet users in the 13-to-54 and 18-to-34 age groups, viewing of complete TV show episodes via streaming or downloaded video has essentially tripled in the past three years -- growing from 8 to 22 percent of those ages 13 to 54 with Internet access, and from 12 to 30 percent of 18-to-34 online users. Knowledge Networks' market study findings include: - 7 percent in the 13-to-54 age group, and 11 percent of those 18 to 34, have used a TV set to watch streamed or downloaded online over-the-top video. - 6 percent of those 13 to 54, and 9 percent of 18-to-34 consumers, told KN they have reduced or canceled their pay-TV service in the past year due to their online viewing of network TV programming, or expect to do so in the next year. "The small but notable level of peop

VoIP is a Critical App in Education Segment

New research from In-Stat reveals that the government vertical is among the strongest industry sectors for voice-over-IP (VoIP) service adoption. This makes sense, since government and education were the primary groups of legacy analog managed Centrex services. Based on the In-Stat market study, 48 percent of respondents in government institutions report that VoIP is deployed in at least one location. The research reveals interesting distinctions among key vertical segments. "Overall, integration is more critical than cost savings," says Norm Bogen, In-Stat research vice president. "However, cost is most critical in the education segment, while scalable features and capabilities are most important in the government segment." In-Stat's market study also found the following: - Verizon is the most cited Current Broadband IP Telephony Provider among government institutions, with a commanding lead over other providers. - AT&T has the leading position a

Why U.S. Publishers Seek e-Book Salvation

The Amazon Kindle e-reader and online e-bookstore has spawned a paid e-publishing content marketplace that has grown in the past two years. But, is this truly the profitability salvation that print publishers had hoped for? Competition from other device makers -- such as Apple -- promises to further stimulate what is already one of the most dynamic areas of the digital content ecosystem. Sales of e-books have grown steadily since the format first appeared in the early 2000 time frame. The Association of American Publishers (AAP) estimated that U.S. net sales to its 85 member publishers totaled $169.5 million in 2009 -- up 176.5 percent from the 2008 figure of $61.3 million. In fact, revenue for 2009 was the highest ever, and the percentage gain was the greatest since e-books started producing a profit. "Currently, most e-book volume comes from Amazon.com's  Kindle Wireless Reading Device sales," said Paul Verna, eMarketer senior analyst. "But it is unlikel

SXSWi 2010: Noteworthy Exhibitor Profiles

The following is a short list of exhibiting vendors, service providers and others that captured my attention at the SXSW Interactive event earlier this week in Austin, Texas. I encourage you to check out their Web sites to learn more. The two basic themes I noticed were new tools that aggregate your online presence on various social media sites -- most are attempts at creating a dashboard-like solution. The other noteworthy theme was a variety of easy to use do-it-yourself content management and microsite publishing tools, with a resurgence of basic HTML page designs (SEO-friendly CSS rather than Adobe Flash). Awareness has created what they call "social marketing software" -- it's an integrated good-enough solution to building online communities for those who prefer not to apply the free best-of-breed tools that essentially do the same thing. Sobees created what they call "my social client" -- the latest release adds Digg to the list of supported ser

Smartphone Shipments are Growing Globally

Fourth quarter mobile phone sales typically outpace the rest of the year. However, according to the latest market study by ABI Research , the final quarter of 2009 was remarkable for the strength of smartphone shipment growth. "4Q 2009 saw 25 percent more smartphones shipped than 3Q 2009," says analyst Michael Morgan. "Granted, the fourth quarter is usually better than the third, but 3Q saw only a 3.6 percent growth over the second quarter." Individual handset vendors had plenty to be pleased about. Apple had its best smartphone quarter on record. Nokia did extremely well, shipping 21 million smartphones compared to its usual 15-16 million. RIM's BlackBerry had a strong showing as well. The good performance was driven in part by falling smartphone prices and the introduction of entry-level smartphones generating greater appeal for new buyers. Nokia effectively used its best weapon, economies of scale. The Apple iPhone maintained its cool factor. There were a

SXSW 2010: Free-Market for Earned Media

My big take-away from the South-by-Southwest (SXSW) Interactive festival this year was a further validation that big media companies -- traditional publishers of print content in particular -- are still searching for a way to halt their collective slide into eventual insolvency. Surely, given their vast resources, the very best big publishers are capable of evolving their business model. At least, that's their hope for the future. But, how does an innovation-challenged organization avoid extinction when unrelenting disruption of the prior status-quo continues to erode their once dominant market position? As I attended the various panels related to this topic, I was reminded of the book " Inside Project Red Stripe " by Andrew Carey -- the story of how six of The Economist's cleverest people tried to create the "next big thing" online and essentially failed, after investing six months in idea exploration. Hope in the Trust Economy Big media companies

Mobile Phone Subscriber Key Trends in U.S.

comScore reported key subscriber trends in the U.S. mobile phone market between October 2009 and January 2010. They also ranked the leading mobile OEMs and smartphone OS platforms during the same period. The latest market study found Motorola to be the top handset manufacturer overall with 22.9 percent market share, while RIM led among smartphone platforms with 43.0 percent market share. In the 3 month average ending in January, 234 million Americans were mobile subscribers ages 13 and older. Moreover, 42.7 million people in the U.S. owned smartphones in an average month during the November to January period -- up 18 percent from the August through October period. RIM was the leading mobile smartphone platform in the U.S. with 43.0 percent share of U.S. smartphone subscribers -- rising 1.7 percentage points versus three months earlier. Apple ranked second with 25.1 percent share (up 0.3 percentage points), followed by Microsoft at 15.7 percent, Google at 7.1 percent (up 4.3 percent

Internet Tablet Computer Market Opportunity

Tablet computers are the next significant device trend or simply another fad, depending on your point of view. The iPad promises to energize the emerging tablet PC segment and the opportunities extend well beyond just Apple. According to the latest market study by In-Stat, the potential unit Total Available Market (TAM) for tablets could be as high as 50 million in 2014, but the success is highly dependent upon two key success factors. The first requirement is to follow other successful devices in the market by offering a complete solution that includes the device, the wireless service, and the content. In-Stat believes that the most recent successes in the mobile market highlighting the value of a complete solution is the Amazon Kindle Wireless Reading Device . The iPhone comes close, but still requires a separate mobile service provider contract. The second requirement is to find the right combination of new technology, content, applications and services that provide a unique

U.S. Smartphone and Mobile Internet Adoption

Baby boomers will eventually adopt smartphones and the Mobile Internet, and at the front-line of this movement are the younger boomers. But boomer mobile Internet adoption rates will be similar to their social media uptake -- that is, slower than the typical early-adopters. According to the latest U.S. market assessment by eMarketer , boomers must see the benefits before they adopt smartphones and mobile Web applications (Apps). Back in 1995, boomers were the pioneers of basic mobile phone usage, exceeding or equaling other age group's uptake of the devices, according to the Pew Research Center. Ownership rates have now grown to more than 85 percent among boomers, the majority using feature phones. But only 55 percent consider their mobile phone a necessity. "Internet use will be the driving force behind boomers adoption of smartphones and the mobile Internet," said Lisa E. Phillips, eMarketer senior analyst. "They are avid Web users but no longer such early adop

Pay-TV and Over-the-Top Video can Coexist

Consumers want their Internet TV, and they want it now, according to the latest market study by In-Stat . Already, based on In-Stat's new multi-client research study, 26 percent of U.S. consumer respondents report viewing Internet TV more than once per week. However, rather than a substitute for traditional pay-TV services, consumers want their Over-the-Top (OTT) Internet video to complement their traditional TV offerings. At least, that's the trend at this moment in time -- meaning, it's likely subject to change over time, as people gradually choose to abandon the legacy linear TV experience. "Consumers want the best of both worlds: Pay TV and Over-the-Top Video," says Keith Nissen, In-Stat analyst. Nearly 40 percent of consumer broadband household respondents want a combination of linear TV and on-demand TV, and nearly three quarters want to acquire all their video content from their pay TV service provider. In-Stat's market study also found the followi

Corporate Blog Loyal Reader Myth Exposed

Compendium announced results from its Corporate Blogging and Social Media Trends Survey. They gathered data from 266 companies about blogging traffic, visitor trends, and their business related Twitter usage. The results counter the commonly held belief that business blogs have a core group of loyal readers. The study found that almost two-thirds of respondents reported more than 80 percent of all blog traffic was "first-time" visitors. "As more traffic is being driven to corporate blogs through organic searches and more first-time visitors are landing on blogs, companies need to develop blog and social media content that is appropriate for this audience in order to be effective," said Chris Baggott, CEO and co-founder of Compendium. Therefore, a keyword-optimized blogging and social media content strategy geared towards first-time visitors is a valuable tool for marketers to increase conversions. Of the B-to-B companies surveyed, 64 percent of respondents said

Mobile Devices Drive Wi-Fi Hotspot Usage

While it's expected that enterprise users might express concern over the security of Wi-Fi hotspots, it is actually the individual consumer user that is driving these concerns, according to the latest market study by In-Stat . Regardless, that concern isn't significantly holding back hotspot usage growth. According to In-Stat's Wi-Fi hotspot market research, over three-quarters of survey respondents are personally aware of and proactive regarding security concerns. The number of respondents indicating that their companies restrict Wi-Fi usage has dropped below 15 percent of the total respondents -- a significant shift from 2008 when nearly the figure was 31 percent of respondents. "While consumers and businesses are cautious about hotspot security, this hasn't stopped them from using hotspots in dramatically increased numbers," says Frank Dickson, In-Stat analyst. "In-Stat estimates that hotspot usage will increase in 2009 by 47 percent, bringing tota

Smartphone Users Access Social Networks

The latest comScore market study found that 30.8 percent of smartphone users accessed social networking sites via their mobile browser in January 2010 -- up 8.3 points from 22.5 percent one year ago. Access to Facebook via mobile browser grew 112 percent in the past year, while Twitter experienced a 347 percent jump. "Social networking remains one of the most popular and fastest-growing behaviors on both the PC-based Internet and the mobile Web," said Mark Donovan, comScore senior vice president of mobile. "Social media is a natural sweet spot for mobile since mobile devices are at the center of how people communicate with their circle of friends, whether by phone, text, email, or, increasingly, accessing social networking sites via a mobile browser." In January 2010, 11.1 percent of all mobile phone users accessed a social networking site via mobile browser, an increase of 4.6 percentage points from the previous year. Much of this growth has been driven by sma

Upside for Consumer Network Storage

With home broadband networking adoption passing 50 percent of households in North America and 13 percent worldwide, the consumer network storage (CNS) market is seeing continued growth. Web-enabled consumer devices, such as TVs and Blu-ray players, are further diversifying the demand and applications for consumer network storage devices, according to the latest market study by In-Stat . "Consumer network storage devices increase the content that can be stored and distributed via the home network," says Norm Bogen, In-Stat analyst. "This increases the value of the entire home network to its users, as well as enabling new applications and capabilities." I've been working on enhancing my own content storage capabilities, and will post a review of a high-capacity USB flash drive shortly. And, I'm in the process of selecting an external mobile hard-drive storage device -- in both use cases, for my video content transport applications. In-Stat's market st

Growing SMB Social Media Marketing Usage

eMarketer reports that U.S. small and medium businesses (SMBs) are adopting social media marketing in greater numbers, according to a market study by Network Solutions and the Center for Excellence in Service at the University of Maryland. Social media usage increased to 24 percent, from 12 percent the year before. It's interesting to note that the most common usage of social media among small business was a company page on a social networking site, followed by posting status updates. SMB expectations of social media are in line with their experiences, although they are not quite as successful as they had hoped. Survey respondent's top accomplishments were customer acquisition and placing their own businesses within the market, but did not meet expectations fully. Social media's capabilities for staying engaged with consumers and collaborating with other businesses, however, were more in line with user expectations. Most SMBs say they are breaking even with their cu

OTT Long-Term Disruptive Effects on Pay-TV

According to the latest market study by Leichtman Research Group (LRG), 24 percent of U.S. households have a TV connected to the Internet. These connections vary from access via a video game system, a Blu-Ray disc player, an IP video set-top box or the TV set directly. Internet connectivity is becoming a common built-in feature in consumer electronics devices, but consumers are just beginning to use this capability to watch IP video online. The upside growth opportunity is therefore huge. Overall, just 1 percent of all adults currently watch video from the Internet via one of these devices daily, and 5 percent weekly. Usage is skewed to young men -- with 16 percent of men ages 18-34 watching video on a TV weekly, compared to 3 percent weekly use among all others. Other findings from the market study include: - 20 percent of households have a video game system connected to the Internet, 8 percent have an Internet-connected TV set, and 6 percent have a Blu-Ray player with an Intern

Mobile VoIP Plans its Escape from Captivity

Innovation isn't a typical event at mobile phone service providers. If the Apple iPhone hadn't introduced the concept of "visual" voice mail, then it's unlikely that this capability would ever have been introduced by any SP. Likewise, the benefits gained from Skype and Google Voice will drive Voice over IP (VoIP) service evolution. In-Stat estimates the total number of mobile VoIP users will reach 288 million by the end of 2013. Of these, well over half will be associated with online mobile VoIP providers, under one-third will utilize mobile VoIP with traditional 3G MVNOs or mobile operators, and 11 percent with WiMAX/LTE operators. On a geographic basis, mobile VoIP will be heavily biased towards the more progressive Asia-Pacific region, particularly among the online mobile VoIP services. "The near-term opportunity for mobile VoIP is closely linked with the growing success of dual-mode phones and other Wi-Fi connected devices," says Frank Dickson,

Cable MSOs Investing in New Infrastructure

Demand for broadband access to the Internet and digital video pay-TV services continues to drive new infrastructure investment. Infonetics Research released the fourth quarter (4Q09) edition of its cable modem termination system (CMTS) and Edge quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM) hardware and subscribers report. "True to form, operators in North America, particularly in the U.S., spent what was left of their equipment budgets in the fourth quarter of 2009, giving a year-end boost to CMTS and edge QAM vendors," said Jeff Heynen, directing analyst for broadband and video at Infonetics Research. Comcast, Time Warner, Cox, and Charter all acquired more downstream capacity by adding more CMTS ports, and Time Warner Cable continued its major upgrade to switched digital video, which helped bolster edge QAM revenue. "Over the last 5 years, ARRIS grew its share of the worldwide CMTS market from 18.6 percent in 2005 to 42.9 percent in 2009, while Cisco's share declined f

Adoption of 3D-capable Consumer Electronics

Within four years, 50 percent of U.S. homes will own a 3D-Ready TV, and the adoption of 3D–Ready Blu-ray players won't be far behind -- with one out of every three U.S. homes owning one, according to the latest market study by Futuresource Consulting . "Our research shows an imminent upsurge in the adoption of 3D-capable High Definition (HD) and Blu-ray hardware, now strengthened by a clearly defined 3D roadmap," says Jim Bottoms, Director at Futuresource. Futuresource expects that a high percentage of Blu-ray players will ship with 3D capability next year, and within a few years it will probably be difficult to buy an HD video disc player without 3D. Hunger for 3D content will also be driven by owners of PS3 consoles who will be able to play 3D Blu-ray content via a firmware upgrade. For those consumers not yet convinced by the HD experience, 3D will be a highly persuasive reason to upgrade. Combine this with other premium features -- such as connected TV and Enterta

Why Traditional EPGs are Doomed to Failure

Thousands of TV programs currently compete for "passive consumer" audiences. With such a huge range of traditional linear TV content, the electronic program guide (EPG) is being promoted as a viable solution -- according to the latest market study by Screen Digest and consulting firm Goldmedia. It's estimated that 59 million households in Western Europe were equipped with EPGs at the end of 2008 -- a penetration of 36 percent of all TV households. This number will grow 19 percent yearly between 2008 and 2014 so that nearly three quarters of all TV households will have access to EPGs in 2014. The analysts report has identified about 300 EPGs on the different platforms in Western Europe. These include EPGs in set-top boxes from pay-TV and infrastructure providers, online EPGs from TV guide magazines, TV platform providers, online providers and mobile EPGs. The research results indicate that market volumes from direct revenues in Western Europe will triple by 2014. Direc