What are the major trends in television distribution? How could they influence and somehow predict the development of connected TV?
- Terrestrial reception which brings free TV to homes (i.e. paid by taxes and or advertising) is declining. Its level in the USA is now at an all time low: less than 10% of US TVHH (TV households) among which there are probably also many Netflix, iTunes or Hulu customers.
- Satellite and cable
- In Europe, television comes to homes mainly through direct satellite (DTH: 33,7%). (Source: SES, Satellite Monitor, 2012).
- In the USA, satellite increases its market share. Alternative Delivery Systems (ADS, i.e. telco + direct satellite) reaches 31.1 % of American TVHH). According to TVB, paid TV is already delivered mostly by ADS in 34 DMA.
- Cable is king in the USA, despite all talk about cord-cutting (60.4 % in 2011, 10% less than ten years ago).
|Marketshares in %, 2011, TVHH.|
ADS = telcos + satellite
- Digitalization takes over, in both Europe and the USA, making room for broadband, HD, DVR and some interactivity.
- Already 75% of European HH are digital. More than 90% of TVHH in Spain, UK, France and Italy, but only 76% in the Netherlands, 71% in Germany, 58% in Switzerland, 54% in Portugal. (Source: SES, Satellite Monitor, 2012).
- In the USA, digital TV is almost everywhere. Digital penetration in basic cable reaches 79.4%. (Source : NCTA, 2011).
On the one hand, digitalization makes connected TV possible. On the other hand, cable and satellite operators and now phone operators (Orange, Verizon, AT&T, etc.) may want to keep companies like Yahoo, Google or Apple from accessing the television set and its set-top box. Interactivity is becoming the USP of cable/telco/satellite multi-system operators (cf. tablets, multiscreentasking, social TV,VOD, TV EveryWhere, XFINITY, UltraViolet, etc.). Smart TV is their business. And, of course, smart advertising.
- N.B. This opposition concerning connected TV is exactly in line with what we have seen when the SOPA was debated in January 2012.
Connected TV will not happen without them.
Europe, where terrestrial TV is digital and still strong (32%), is the market most vulnerable to newcomers like Google, Apple or Yahoo! That's where HbbTV (industry standard for Hybrid Broadcact Broadband TV) will be so decisive. The list of its members is impressive and counts, among others:
- satellite companies : Eutelsat, SES ASTRA
- major TV companies : Canal+, TF1, RTL, BBC, france televisions, SRG SSR, EBU, Mediaset, etc.)
- software companies or STB manufacturers like Opera, Cisco / NDS, Ocean Blue, etc.