JANUARY 6, 2010 -- According to new research from The Diffusion Group (TDG), by 2014 more than 360 million households worldwide will own the components necessary to enjoy over-the-top (OTT) video services on their TV, with more than half actively receiving OTT services. This and other themes are discussed in TDG's latest digital media analysis, Broadband-Enabled TV: Evolution of OTT Hardware Platforms.
"A key reason why many OTT efforts have failed (and will continue to do so) is their dependence on proprietary single-function hardware paid for by consumers," notes Colin Dixon, managing partner at TDG. "In order to grow a profitable base of service users, OTT operators must either give the hardware away for little to nothing -- something upstarts cannot afford to do -- or leverage other Internet-enabled platforms as a conduit to the living room. The latter approach is preferable, yet its success hinges on the rate at which these Internet-enabled platforms diffuse -- a factor over which OTT providers have little control."
Dixon notes that a number of companies including Netflix and the BBC have been embedding their service software in a variety of retail video platforms and are enjoying early success. As normal replacement cycles unfold over the next five years, and as manufacturers accelerate their shift to embedded offerings, the number of households with at least one Internet-enabled living room video platform will grow (and rapidly so), he believes.
Specific forecasts within the report include:
- The number of broadband-enabled TV households (those with the basic infrastructure to enjoy OTT video services) will grow from 130 million in 2009 to more than 360 million in 2014.
- The number of active OTT households (those that put this infrastructure to use) will grow from 40 million in 2009 to 170 million in 2014.
TDG's latest digital media analysis, Broadband-Enabled TV: Evolution of OTT Hardware Platforms is the second in a two-part report series by Dixon on the emerging opportunities associated with OTT video services. This second report analyzes and forecasts global demand for a variety of OTT video platforms including games consoles, Blu-ray players, hybrid set-top boxes, Internet set-top boxes, media-centric PCs, and networked digital TVs.
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