Forget 3D, Web-connected TV's the Thing

SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ.: In-Stat says Web-to-TV video is growing more rapidly than forecasters expected. The market researchers now say that by 2014, there will be 57 million U.S. broadband households viewing full-length online video on TV. Revenues associated with the content are projected to grow from $2 billion to over $17 billion over a five-year period.

“The over-the-top video market represents a new distribution channel for digital entertainment,” says Keith Nissen with In-Stat. “Content producers want to market premium video content directly to the consumer. However, they have not yet decided the best way to monetize OTT video content and how to manage the OTT opportunity in context with their legacy distribution partners.”

Factors affecting the related revenue trajectory include the installed base of Web-enabled consumer video gear--e.g., connected TVs, peripheral streaming devices, etc. In-Stat projects such devices will grow from 70 million in 2009 to 237 million by 2014. The total number of U.S. broadband households with Web-enabled video devices will triple by 2014 to 98 million (versus the 57 million viewing full-length online video on TV, presumably). In-Stat says that 11 million “operator-provisioned hybrid set-top boxes will be delivering online video content directly to the TV.”

iSuppli, a market research firm in El Segundo, Calif., predicts that global shipments of Web-enabled TVs will reach 148.3 million by 2014. Again, this does not include the peripherals and set-tops factored in by In-Stat. Just TVs only. By comparison, iSuppli pegged global shipments of 3DTVs to be less than half of that by 2014.

For 2010, iSuppli puts global shipments of 3DTVs at 4.2 million (compared to the 2.1 million units expected to ship in the United States this year, as prognosticated by the Consumer Electronics Association). iSuppli’s estimate of Web-connected TV shipments at 27.7 million this year. Richard Kastelien of App Market obtained iSuppli’s report, which contained this quote from Riddhi Patel of iSuppli.

“Despite aggressive promotions from the industry and intense consumer interest generated by the blockbuster Avatar and other titles, the 3-D TV market in 2010 will be limited to a small pool of enthusiastic early adopters. In contrast, IETV is entering the mainstream in 2010. This is because 3-D is still dealing with a number of barriers, including cost, content availability and interoperability, while IETV provides immediate benefits by allowing TV viewers to access a range of content readily available on the Internet.” -- Deborah D. McAdams